Waiters. Cashiers. Baristas. Sales associates.
These are just few of the many jobs we encounter on a day-to-day basis. Each of these jobs fall under a particular category that we don’t give much credit to nowadays: Customer service.
Customer service jobs are the backbone of today’s society. And they are the jobs every person should experience once in their lifetime. Not only do these jobs provide you with incite and skills that are useful, but it teaches you a thing or two about being an overall better person. Here are 5 things a customer service job can teach you:
With any customer service job, you are constantly required to work with other human beings…Otherwise it wouldn’t be a customer service job. And within this job, you meet the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of the community. No matter how hard you wish customers wouldn’t yell at you or ask stupid questions, (Yes, there’s such thing as a stupid question…) the chances that a genie will pop out of thin air and grant your wish is slim to none. You unfortunately can’t change, or ignore customers. So you learn how to deal with them. You learn that patience, negotiation, and problem-solving skills can actually get you somewhere in life and not just that smiley face sticker you got in Kindergarten.
In order to be successful in any customer service job, you have to gain effective communication skills. By the start of a customer service job, you might not know jack squat about how to properly speak to a customer if you haven’t had prior experience. Within a few shifts or so, you slowly start to gain an understanding about how to effectively communicate information to a customer. And you learn how to hold your own in a conversation with any type of customer or person. A customer service job, in the end, is basically the best crash course in communication and speaking skills you can have.
Constantly being in contact with other human beings can take a lot out of a person. It’s not an easy thing to do for hours upon hours. As a customer service worker, you tend to appreciate that paycheck more because you busted your butt dealing with unruly customers or long lines of impatient shoppers. You learn that the time and effort you spent on the clock is worth every penny of that lovely paycheck. Which is why customer service workers also learn another thing: ALWAYS TIP! Not receiving tips (if applicable) as a customer service worker is one of the most frustrating things. Especially if the service was exceptionally well. When a customer service worker sits down at a restaurant, they understand how to tip properly because they know what it feels like to receive only 50 cents after delivering a stellar service. If there’s one thing you will learn after having a customer service job, it’s to always, always, always tip.
Just because you work a customer job, does not mean you have to show up to work every single day with a sunny demeanor, ready to take on the world. No. Contrary to belief, customer service workers are still indeed human. Therefore, they are bound to have a bad day going into work. No one is perfect. But one thing you learn as a customer service worker is that you leave all your problems at the door. Your problems and your feelings outside of your job, cannot affect your work ethic. So, you might one day be feuding with your coworker because they decided to make up untrue rumors about you. But as soon as you are in front of a customer, you have to put on a smile and get the job done. Learning how to carry yourself in a professional manner despite outside emotions is a huge part of customer service working.
Growing up, we’re constantly taught the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. But more often than not, people seem to throw that rule out the window, putting their needs and feelings first. In the customer service industry, you can be treated kindly and unfortunately, crappy. And that treatment, good or bad, can change the whole course of that person’s work shift. So when a customer service worker is off the clock and comes into contact with a cashier or waitress, they understand how to treat that person with respect. Because they’ve been in that person’s shoes before. They know that one smile can change their entire day. They understand that when the waitress brings out the wrong order, it’s not entirely their fault. You gain a sense of “customer service empathy”. And not only does that translate to better treatment of customer service workers but to any person you come into contact with on a daily basis.
So think about the next time you decide to give your cashier a hard time or plan on not leaving a tip for your friendly waitress. Maybe you should walk a mile or two in their shoes and get the serving yourself.
Featured Image By: Stacie De Lucia