Customer Service Workers; Would You Sacrifice Money For Manners?
By: Patrick Maguire
Book Chapter: Customer Hall of Fame
Ok, I realize this is hypothetical and idealistic because unfortunately, we’re never going to change them all…
Nonetheless, I’m curious to know where you stand.
As I’ve been receiving emails and questionnaire responses from readers, I started thinking, Would customer service industry workers be willing to give up some of their compensation if they were guaranteed that all of their customers were good people? Is respect more important than money?
Here’s a little context:
The results from almost 200 current or former customer service industry workers who completed my questionnaire, indicate that 19% of customers are either impolite, disrespectful, or downright rude. Two follow-up questions ask workers to use adjectives to describe their best customers over the years, as well as the types of customers that they prefer. The responses are still coming in, but a quick poll of the top 5 results looks like this (I grouped similar adjectives together.);
(I omitted generous, big tippers, etc., and interestingly, the adjectives about money didn’t even make the top ten.)
So, for everyone who interacts with customers for a living, would you trade money for manners if you were guaranteed that all of your customers would be empathetic, respectful, cool, fun, easy-going, patient, or any combo of 1-5 above? Would you forgo a portion of your tips or compensation if you were guaranteed that you wouldn’t have any rude or abusive customers? If yes, what’s the trade-off? How much of a cut in pay would you take for the peace of mind knowing that every customer you come in contact with was going to treat you with mutual respect, the way that they would want to be treated? Run with the idea any way you would like, and please include your industry and job description. Thank you very much for participating.
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