Customer service. Everybody hates it, yet everybody needs it (unless, of course, you’ve disavowed all human relations, sworn off technology and ceased communication with the outside world, in which case, how are you reading this?). And yet every single entrepreneur, from the beginners to the more seasoned, should take on a customer service roll at least once in their lives. Being on the front lines, communicating directly with clients, is an invaluable experience for anyone, business owners especially.
When you work in customer service, “patience is a virtue” is more than a platitude; it’s a necessary mindset repeated fervently to maintain sanity. You quickly realize how indecisive, inarticulate, and impolite many people can be, notably when put on the spot. When dealing with the worst of the worst, your job quite literally depends on your ability to keep calm and carry on.
It Gives You a Thick Skin
Customer service is an especially valuable experience for people with big ideas but that shut down in the face of criticism. It teaches you that you are not, in fact, stupid or worthless (you totally rock), and that what the person on the other end of the phone or counter thinks about you does not determine your self-worth.
Entrepreneurs face seemingly endless criticism. It’s important to remember that just because one person doesn’t like what you’re doing, doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.
It Provides Unparalleled Appreciation
You not only recognize the plight of any other customer service representative you encounter in the future, you gain a greater appreciation for your current status. You’ve seen the worst in people, but you’ve also seen some of the best, and you’ve seen the best in yourself. So cheesy, but so true. You’ve moved on to bigger and better things in your life, in part because of what you’ve learned from the people that tested your patience in the past.
Just Do It
Business owners of any size (the business’s size, not yours) should take a day, or even a week, to live in the shoes of their front line. Customer service is so often a thankless job, and you’ll show your employees that you are grateful for what they do every single day (especially if it means you don’t have to do it). As they say, it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it. And you should try it sometime.
For more small business tips, browse through our blog or give one of our online marketing specialists a call today at (816) 527-8371. And be nice, please.