Before I began my lucrative editorial career, I worked in retail for roughly seven years. I sold men’s clothing and then shoes at Sears. I can still remember back to my initial interview. I was only 16, though not a stranger to the corporate world. Everything was going well. I felt a rapport with the hiring manager and sensed the job was mine. As the conversation ended, he asked me one final question: What does customer service mean to you, Elise?
It was something I never thought about. I’m not going to lie and act like I remember my answer, but I do believe it included the phrase, “optimal customer experience.” Either way, that’s what I strived to accomplish during my shifts. I loved my time at Sears, even when it was challenging. Spoiler alert: The customer isn’t always right; however, we don’t get paid to judge. Such is the life of those in the customer service field.
If you think about it, we are all in customer service, simply doing our best to make clients feel heard, understood and supported. But, customer service representatives (CSRs) in the traditional sense typically are at the front line fielding the brunt of criticisms. Add to the mix the worst global pandemic in over a century—which has led to the viral shutdown of multiple economies, mass furloughs and stressed out customers—and now you’re really testing the superhuman patience of CSRs.
When talking to our 2020 CSR All-Star honorees, I noticed that they never wavered in their love for this industry, regardless of the obstacles they are currently facing. They are the unsung heroes of an organization, and are worthy of the recognition that I’m sure they’d shy away from. In a time when everything is uncertain, let’s celebrate the good.
Click here to learn how 14 CSRs keep calm, stay inspired and more.