You learn a lot about customer service when you’re the world authority on complaining.  I’ve studied customer service for years and what I’ve discovered can teach us a lot about human nature and even how to become a Super Hero!

Here’s a true story about Amanda (her real name) and Brittany (not her real name—or, even her real gender for that matter — LOL). 

Eighteen months ago, I executed a total upgrade of the Complaint Free World program.  I updated and expanded our free courses for Businesses, Churches, and Schools.   Plus, we completely revamped our web site, store front and much more to better serve everyone.

During this process, I had to learn several software programs—a couple of which seemed way over my head!  It was while attempting to master Infusionsoft that I met both Amanda and Brittany, both of whom are Live Chat reps — helping customers via live, on-screen support. 

I’d worked with five or six other Infusionsoft Live Chat reps before I met Amanda.  When the little alert chimed declaring, “You’re live with Amanda,” before I could even paste in the problem I’d clearly defined in Notepad, Amanda started into our conversation with several pre-planned images and comments to set the tone for our experience.

“You’re live with Amanda”

Amanda: “Hi Will! I’m Amanda.  I’m here to give you the greatest customer service experience of your life!” (A link to an image of Amanda was included.  When I clicked the link I saw a smiling Amanda in a cowboy hat.)

Amanda (again): (I’ve not even been able to hit CTL-V to paste my question and she’s already sent me another image, this one is a cartoon of a bright, happy sun rising that says, “It’s a Great Monday!” I later learned Amanda has one for every day of the week).

Will: (Pastes his question and asks for help.)

Amanda: “It will be my pleasure to tackle this problem in one single bound!” (Another link to a third  image — Supergirl, this time.  I’m starting to enjoy this experience and really like this woman.)

Amanda explains she’ll have to do some quick research to answer my question, asks if I mind waiting and when I say no, she sends a fourth image of a cheery “Thanks!” 

Within a minute, Amanda is back.  She has not only figured out the solution, she has created a video using screen capture software that explains the process in detail. Amanda sends me a link and waits for me to watch the video and make sure I understand. 

Will: “Oh, I get it.  That’s easy, I’m surprised I didn’t see that myself.”

Amanda: “No problem, Will!  I’m really glad I could help — ‘anything else you need?” (A link to a “YAY!” image comes up.)

I assured Amanda, “I’m good for now but I’ll be back,”  Amanda thanks me for “allowing her to help” and sends a final “Have a Great Day!” image. I closed the chat window and thought, “Wow, that was fun.”

QUESTION: When was the last time YOU said, “Wow, that was fun” after working with a Customer Service rep?  ‘Probably never, right? Ah, but then I met Brittany—Amanda’s polar opposite.

“You’re live with Brittany”

Brittany: “Hi, Will.  How can I help you?”

As with Amanda, I paste in a carefully planned explanation of the problem and pose a question.  I wait thirty seconds — nothing.  “Is she there?” I wonder.  A minute ticks by.  The chat window tells me that I’ve got to reengage the conversation or I’ll be kicked out in 2 minutes.

Will: “Hello?”

Brittany: “Hi, Will.  Sorry to take so long.  Actually, that’s more of a coaching question than a Customer Service question and we’re not really supposed to do that.”

Really?  I never knew there was a distinction.  Everyone else, especially Amanda, just really wanted to help.

Brittany: “But…I’ll send a link to an article that explains everything.  Would you also like me to send you a list of paid services such as coaching that can help you?”

I declined and ended the chat so I could read the article Brittany sent.  Again, everyone else had only wanted to help.  Brittany, it felt, helped grudgingly and seemed to want to pawn me off and/or make me pay.  When I ended the chat I thought, “What a drag.”

Now, here’s the vital point. Both Amanda and Brittany do the same job at the same company with the same time and resources.  One person decides she’s going to be a super hero while the other person does enough to get along.  Amanda is stellar whereas Brittany is more the customer service norm—just ok.

Psychologists have found that what is most important about our job is NOT how much money we make, who we work with or any other external factor. The one thing that determines how much you enjoy your job is,  ”Do you feel a sense of accomplishment?”  To enjoy our jobs we must feel like we’ve accomplished something — we’ve fixed something, improved something, figured something out and, primarily, helped someone.

Given only what I’ve told you about Amanda and Brittany, whom do you think has a greater sense of accomplishment at the end of the day?  Amanda, of course.  She puts more into her day and into her job and, as a result, she gets more out of it.  And, she helps people enjoy rather than tolerate a fixture of modern life: dealing with a customer service reps.

Every day, you choose to just get by like Brittany or to be a super hero like Amanda.

The question is, “Who are you going to be today?”  You were born to be a super hero.  You were created to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment but it’s up to you to contribute at the highest possible level to achieve the greatest satisfaction and, ultimately, the most success. 

Put forth a little more today and you’ll get back more than you can imagine!