You, the customer, have every right to dislike or be dissatisfied with a product, and sometimes you can get frustrated or angry because of this. But maybe one should think twice before you grab your phone and call the customer service to shout at the poor service representative.
Why You Should Think Why You’re Getting Angry
The typical case of people directing their uninhibited rage at innocent customer service representatives must stop. These people are entry-level employees and they usually only go through a few weeks of training for the job. People might see them as employees that represent the company, but they have absolutely nothing to do with the problems that anger you so.
Most companies’ procedures for this might probably be quite frustrating and annoying, but once again, customer service employees have nothing to do with your woes. You should remember that these people are merely following the rules set by the company for them and they are paid to do just that. “If the customer has abused the system and is trying to obtain an advantage outside the terms and conditions, then it is a simple case of legality. If the terms and conditions were made clear beforehand, then the ticketing company can take a tough stance,” Dr. Nigel Marlow
Not only do these poor employees get an average of ten hostile calls daily, but they also continuously have people shout, insult, curse and even threaten them. They have to stay in line with these hostile callers and see them through. It isn’t uncommon to hear otherwise decent or kind people treating customer service representatives in a hostile and sometimes abusive manner.
People tend to dehumanize customer service representatives as if they don’t have feelings or as if they are robots you talk to on the phone if you have complaints. We see them as representatives of companies, and in doing so, we tend to blame them on a personal level. “They may be representing a company with terrible policies or one that hasn’t trained them properly, but underneath all of that remember they are a person who is trying to do their job,” advises Kit Yarrow Ph.D.
Not seeing the representatives’ faces tends to switch off our feelings of empathy or civility. We also expect customer service calls to be annoying. This preconceived idea tends to bring us into a hostile demeanor even before making the call.
How Hostile Customers Affect Customer Service Representatives
Recent studies yield that when customer service representatives receive a large number of abusive and hostile calls, it impacts them emotionally and psychologically. These employees tend to dwell on these unpleasant experiences, especially at night—this may ruin their moods the next morning.
Our rage and anger towards customer service representatives inflict wounds on their psyche and self-esteem, and they drown in their negative feelings after their shift is over. This brooding and looming is a damaging habit that can lead to depression, helplessness, and even an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. “Customer service is a difficult gig, to be sure. Phone agents routinely develop stress related ailments such as stomach problems, headaches, TMJ, and even drug and alcohol abuse as a result of dealing many hours a day with angry and difficult consumers,” say Stephanie Newman Ph.D.
With all of the psychological distress that customer service representatives go through, it is no surprise that these workers have some of the highest employee attrition rates because only a few of these employees can put up with the constant emotional and psychological attacks from callers. Because of this, call center companies need to regularly replace their workers and train new ones in a vicious cycle because of the new employees’ inexperience and hesitance which can incur the rage of the customers even more.
We customers, as people in general, should always consider that treating customer service representatives and people as they are treated—without empathy or concern is a form of cyber-bullying that must not be tolerated in any circumstances. Us as customers still have the right to be dissatisfied or angry, but when we are mad, it would be best to direct your anger in a better way. Maybe an email to a company executive would be much more effective and rightfully so because it is the company executive that makes decisions and produces the products that may instill the anger in us customers in the first place—not the entry level customer service representative that tries to help you when you call them. The customer service representatives also have a duty to themselves to better themselves through emotional and psychological wounds when they are sustained and are not allowed to get worse.
The psychological dangers and risks of brooding over their negative call encounters should also be made known to the customer service representatives. Their negative experiences such as assault, threats, and curses in their calls can gravely damage them, but if they are made aware of the impacts of these encounters, they can learn to ignore them and avoid doing anything to make what they’re feeling worse. In regards to this, companies should also take the initiative and help their employees survive the severe psychological and emotional barrages in the calls they receive.
If everyone learned to be a decent customer and a person in general, to learn to control their anger and be more kind to everyone, the customer service representatives wouldn’t have to suffer the effects of angry customers. If everyone made an effort to improve their interactions, then it would surely be happier for all.