I’m not normal, this we know already.

You would have thought after my post last week that Friday would have been a huge day of parcel arrivals here in Snoskredland. Rather sadly it was not. I can’t remember if anything did arrive at all, my feeling is that it didn’t. On Monday a couple of parcels dribbled in but luckily they contained much of what I had been waiting for.

I’ve been in customer service for much of my lifetime. In my experience, most people, when they lodge a complaint, are not especially nice about it. I’ve learned that if you can be polite, friendly, and even funny if possible, the customer service folks will appreciate that and tend to go the extra mile for you. Thus far anytime I have lodged a complaint the package arrives within 24-48 hours.

What does a complaint from me look like? Something like this –

Dear Post People,

Could you possibly extricate my package of 6 lions from wherever they are hiding out and send them home to me as I expect they are getting quite hungry by now.

Alternatively, let me know if they have escaped and eaten all the staff at your facility, though I suspect I would have seen something like that on the news but then again, the media these days a story like that could get ignored in favour of Aldi’s sale item that will change your life.

Thank you very much in advance!

Yes that was an actual article on the day I wrote it – checking back today I saw this article. It makes me wonder how much Aldi are paying for this – or alternatively whether the writers at news sites simply don’t bother to look for actual news anymore.

The customer service agent who received my note about the lions appreciated it so much that he actually called me. He said it made his day and he had to call and speak to the person who wrote it to update me personally. And he gave me bonus points for using the word extricate. We had a lovely chat, which made my day in return. I’d mostly spent it constructing tricky triangle boxes and rolling stuff up to go in them.

What is the point in getting angry and writing angry things when that rarely achieves anything? Much better to do a little creative writing and try to give those poor customer service folks a smile. They really need it, I can vouch for that.

My lions package should arrive today. Fingers crossed anyway. :)

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6 thoughts on “I’m not normal, this we know already.

  1. I have seen this matter from both sides of the counter, firstly, as a customer with a complaint to make and, secondly, as a library assistant in a public library fielding complaints.

    What the customer should bear in mind is that the person who receives the complaint may not be in any way responsible for the problem. To go at him or her with all guns blazing is therefore likely to cause resentment, not a desire to help. Therefore a gentle – and as you say, humorous – approach can pay dividends. However, one sometimes comes up against a wall of inertia when making a complaint and in such circumstances carefully formulated and directed anger can be useful or even necessary. I once received a faulty software package from a retailer who firmly refused to refund my money, saying I should contact the maker. A well aimed shaft of anger hit the target and I received my refund.

    As a receiver of complaints, I always listened carefully to what the complainant was saying so that I would understand exactly what the problem was. I would then start by saying “Yes, I can see why that would upset you. I would feel the same in your position. Let’s see if we can put the matter right.” This usually defused the anger and anxiety that the customer felt. On one occasion I received a card from a customer thanking me for my help and sympathy.

    Customer service is becoming a lost art. Businesses don’t want to spend time and money training staff in this important discipline yet good customer service can make a big difference to a firm’s reputation and popularity.

  2. I loved your letter, it made me smile and it obviously made the Australia Post person smile. I think we should treat others how we would wish to be treated – no wonder he was so keen to help. Hope the lions made their way to you!

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