When you have to speak with customer service...

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Ezekiel43

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#1 Ezekiel43
Member since 2017 • 1980 Posts

...do you want them to try to have a conversation with you, ask how the weather is where you're at and stuff like that, or do you just wanna get it over with and get on with your day? More personal or more transactional?

I find the former option totally asinine and fake, and I know many of them are forced to do it.

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Ovirew

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#2 Ovirew
Member since 2008 • 9213 Posts

@ezekiel43: I had a conversation about this with someone recently. I guess older people just really like human interaction, but younger people don't. I feel like most older people, though they want customer service, really don't want to get it from younger people, but that's what they've got.

Idk. I think back over the years and there have been some times where I had pleasant exchanges with customers. But a lot of the time people are just kind of rude, or irritating. And I guess whenever I'm a customer I rarely go to the workers with questions - I get what I'm after and leave. So I don't get why so many people are high-maintenence and always want workers to jump through hoops for them.

And I feel like the customer service experience is something that will inevitably be replaced by warehouses you order from and pickup at. No more shrink, no more middle-man stocking from backroom to shelf.

Sometimes I get sad when I realize how there will be less places yo go and possibly meet people in the future, and hang out at. But then I realize I haven't ever really managed to meet anyone that way.

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johnd13

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#3 johnd13  Online
Member since 2011 • 9826 Posts

I hate small talk. Let's just get it over with and be on our separate ways.

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Speeny

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#4 Speeny
Member since 2018 • 2133 Posts

Can't stand doing it to be honest. Just want it over and done with. No offence to the person I'm communicating with though. It's just a hassle in general.

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GTR12

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#5 GTR12
Member since 2006 • 13486 Posts

Before I answer the question, how was your day? and what's the weather like in your area?

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shellcase86

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#6 shellcase86
Member since 2012 • 4568 Posts

I prefer the small talk.

Experience shows that's the best way to build rapport and get real, genuine help from the customer service rep. I've gotten plenty of discounts, fees waived, items expedited, and credits applied just by being a friendly, patient customer. Also, a lot of that is to fill the time while they're locating account info. The computers and systems they use are rarely very quick/efficient to use.

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CrimsonBrute

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#7 CrimsonBrute  Moderator
Member since 2004 • 25538 Posts

I'd rather avoid having anything to do with customer service but if I have to go through with it, I just want it done ASAP.

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SOedipus

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#8 SOedipus
Member since 2006 • 11659 Posts

I hate small talk. I love using the chat options online if I need customer service. I'll also opt to go inside McDonalds and use the self-serving kiosk so I don't have to talk to anyone. I use the self-serving tills at grocery stores too, ooo and at gas stations.

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JustPlainLucas

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#9 JustPlainLucas  Online
Member since 2002 • 79494 Posts

I appreciate it. I know most of it is canned, but I actually dislike stillness and dead air more. I'd rather people just talk to fill in the wait while they're computers are working versus just staring at each other awkwardly.

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Horgen

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#10 Horgen  Moderator
Member since 2006 • 121589 Posts

@shellcase86: You can be on point and still be polite and nice. Even if there is no small talk, being nice isn‘t difficult.

Perhaps should note that I don’t consider saying thank you as part of small talk in this context.

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Ezekiel43

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#11  Edited By Ezekiel43
Member since 2017 • 1980 Posts

@JustPlainLucas said:

I appreciate it. I know most of it is canned, but I actually dislike stillness and dead air more. I'd rather people just talk to fill in the wait while they're computers are working versus just staring at each other awkwardly.

Informed silence is just as good. Actually, it's better because the agent is focusing on their work, which means the call will be over quicker. "Gonna be quiet for a minute as I get your information pulled up." Multitasking, for the most part, is a myth. People seldom multitask, they just quickly alternate between tasks, which often means one task isn't getting the attention it should.

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mattbbpl

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#12 mattbbpl  Online
Member since 2006 • 17624 Posts

I used to hate the small talk, but several years ago I started to use it to practice my small talk skills (because they used to be terrible).

Now it's kind of a fun game. Within the first 10 to 20 seconds you'll know whether they usually like to initiate small talk or not (assuming you seemed approachable when you greeted them). If they do, let them initiate the opening salvo and try to delve into their topic of choice. If not it's a bit harder, but you want to try to find a topic they really like. This can start as some small talk about a local sports team, their family, or anything else you can judge as a likely entry point based on their personal characteristics, region, whatever. After that general topic is established, just keep it going by diving deeper. My hair stylist a couple weeks ago was REALLY into Halloween, so after I asked if she had any plans with her family she was ready to share anything.

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mrbojangles25

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#13 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 44845 Posts

No, I am calling for a service, not a relationship.

I know that can sound callous, but I don't mean it in any mean sense.

With that said, I try to be as polite as I can when dealing with people in that kind of role. Just because you aren't friends doesn't mean you can't be friendly.

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DaVillain-

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#14 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 39144 Posts

I'm mostly open minded but when time isn't on my side, I tend to cut the small talk short and get right onto business. I always say "hello and how are you?"