Company employees are only human
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Opinions Editor
We’ve all had bad customer service experiences. We’ve tried to give our money for goods or services, only to be treated in ways perceived as rude, frustrating, and unfair. In the end, we leave dissatisfied and angry with the company, perhaps deciding not to give them our business ever again.
In the age of instant social media, it’s very common to share our dissatisfaction publicly. The brand has wronged you, and it’s important that others understand exactly why this place deserves all the scorn everyone who sees the post can muster.
There are many instances where an experience absolutely deserves to be highlighted. If you were treated rudely or in a prejudiced fashion (such as personal insults or discrimination), it’s absolutely reasonable to call out the business properly. But even then, there can be a better way of addressing it.
Just like any other conflict, one should always aim to address it directly with the parties involved. If you feel an employee has wronged you, it could be worth speaking to the employee directly (without being too aggressive, naturally). Otherwise, talking to a store’s manager (whose job it is to address this sort of thing) can also be rewarding. Writing an angry letter to corporate headquarters often does little to solve the situation, and it brings in far more people than necessary.
If you are complaining online through social media, there’s a very good chance the person answering will have nothing to do with the store you had a problem at. They’re just a customer service representative whose job it is to apologize for things that they didn’t do. Most of the time, the incident or practice is completely out of their control. I have seen many instances when someone is angry at a brand online, and is harassing the person on the other end for circumstances impossible to blame on anyone. The TransLink Twitter account exists to help transit users. Buses not being reliable is really frustrating, but it also has nothing to do with the paid staff who work the account. Getting angry or blaming them for your bus being late may feel good, but it isn’t respectful behaviour, nor does it help you get on your bus any quicker. I have to repeat this: It is not the social media person’s fault.
On an even more serious level, escalating your complaint about bad service can seriously hurt businesses or individuals. It can end up finding a low-level, low-wage employee written up—or even fired—over something that didn’t need to become so heated. Writing an angry review on Yelp or other social media platforms can seriously harm a business financially, damaging multiple lives in the process.
Everyone makes mistakes in service jobs. Some things are worth escalating, but sometimes it’s better to simply let things go. Address conflicts with as few parties as possible, and consider if it’s really worth your time.
Sometimes, the best way to make a statement is to file it away in your head and simply not go to that particular business location anymore.