customer service survey results

Survey Results: Stories From Customer Service People

Customer service people, please don’t take it the wrong way when I say you are the Oompa Loompas of company success.

When something bad happens, you seem to always get the short stick — by getting blamed, talked down to, or even yelled at. And when something good happens, you don’t get your fair share of thanks.

So first of all, in light of the National Customer Service Week, let me say on behalf of every customer who has ever been, is or will be served: “Thank you!”

Wanting to give you some of the attention you deserve, we sent out a simple survey to you a couple of weeks ago, expecting a few boring, trite answers. What we’ve got instead is anything but.

Without further ado, let’s see what exciting stories you’ve shared with us.

NB: Some of the responses have been edited, for the purposes of brevity and readability. The spirit of the answers, however, has been left untouched.

1. What is something that other people don’t know about working in customer service?

customer service survey

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who take customer service for granted, and those who have actually worked in customer service before.

Although customer service people are usually front and center, their lives continue to be an enigma to most people. Let’s see if we can shed some light on this mystery.

People don’t realize that a lot of work is put into making the customer’s life easier.

We’re starting slow here; this is not a big revelation by any measure, but it doesn’t ring any less true because of that. Behind the Hollywood smile of a person working with customers, there’s always sweat and blood and tears.

(Well, not literally behind the smile. That’d be awful.)

Customer service reps have to have an incredibly high level of patience, no matter the circumstances. We have to deal with frustration and anger of customers, and then do our best to turn the situation around with a smile and a great deal of empathy.

Everybody who has ever so much as answered a customer’s call knows that Gandhi, Mother Teresa and MLK Jr. themselves would have forsaken their non-violent ways if they had to work in customer service. The legend goes that a CS rep who’s never popped a vein over a customer automatically gains sainthood and a free entry to Heaven.

It could be challenging but also very good because it allows you to grow professionally.

People don’t get how mentally draining it can be when talking to high volumes of customers.

It’s one thing to talk to tens of your friends on Facebook, from the comfort of your home. It’s another thing entirely to talk to complete strangers, with the added caveat of having to come up with satisfying answers on the spot.

It requires a lot of understanding, taking a step back and putting yourself in the customer’s shoes.

You often take your job home with you, even after you clock out. It takes a lot of emotional intelligence.

Despite what some people may think, customer service agents are just like them. When they’re off from work, they too become customers to someone else. They’re not some robots.


Ok, bad example.

2. If you could meet yourself back when you started as an agent, what advice would you have given yourself?

customer service quiz

Henri Estienne once said, “If youth knew; if age could”. Life is such that only with time you understand what you needed to have done differently.

We’ve given our lovely customer service people a theoretical time machine and asked them, “What would you have advised yourself back when you started?” Here are the best answers.

QTIP, as in Quit Taking It Personally.

Interestingly, this is not the only “don’t take it personally” advice we’ve gotten, but it is the one that sums it up the best. Who doesn’t like nice-sounding abbreviations?

Make sure to mark people “served” with Qminder.

From QTIP to Qminder tips, huh.

Disclaimer: Hand on heart, this is not some marketing ploy. We didn’t pay anyone to get featured in replies.

Breathe more and do things that will feed your soul and refuel your energy on a regular basis.

An introductory speech to beginner’s yoga classes or first-grade motivation for customer service people? Either way, that’s a well thought-out advice.

Always be yourself, even through work. Always be confident, no matter what anybody says.

Mom, is that you?

3. What customer or a situation helped you grow as a customer experience expert?

customer service questionnaire

Learning doesn’t occur in a vacuum; it’s a process that involves all the people around you. Naturally, as someone who deals with a huge number of people, a customer service agent learns from customers, first and foremost.

I had a situation where the customer said things that affected me on a personal level. A coworker witnessed my hurt and stepped in to help resolve the situation. Afterward, the coworker and I spoke and she helped me to learn not to take things as personally as I had been and have me some tools to approach situations like this in the future.

Now there’s a good moral. Customer service people are like sticks from Aesop’s famous fable: easily broken when separate, but firm and strong when bundled together.

But look, I know what you think. “Hey, this was supposed to be an uplifting, feel-good article!” Here, how’s that for a palate cleanser:

A gentleman named Barry took time out of his day to write to our headquarters and let them know how much he appreciated me and that he thought the things I do at the company were going unnoticed. I was featured in the company newsletter the following month, and it actually made me realize how much I like doing what I do and that I am good at it too.

Who doesn’t like a classic happy ending? There’s no greater feeling in this world than to see good things happen to people who deserve it.

We had a customer become quite aggressive with us, and we de-escalated the situation quite quickly.

When I worked at Disney, I had a guest complaining, so I started talking to him. After a short chat, we resolved the problem, and he was very happy with the service.

One of the perks of working in customer service is getting to polish up your people skills. It’s like a school of life in a way: those who have graduated from it know how to handle the most extreme of social circumstances.

There is a ton of situations that have helped me grow as customer experience expert, like speaking with multiple drivers a day and helping them with their situations. When they go home at the end of the day, it pays off to see that I’ve helped them leave with a smile on their face.

Aww. “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.” How’s that for making the world a better place?

Every client is a growing experience, even the ones you are already familiar with.

You hear that, everybody? We all contribute to good customer service!

4. What’s your trade secret to succeeding as a customer service specialist?

customer service survey results

The perfect customer service strategy is like a family recipe: there’s always some secret ingredient that makes it so good.

But it’s not your grandma’s trademark lemon pie that we’re after here. Oh no, this is full-on customer service espionage. Let’s see what secrets we’ve managed to fish out of you.

The warm welcome along with a smile to each of the clients, as well as the professionalism to solve or clarify your doubts.

Okay, I’m writing this down. This is solid gold so far.

Empathy and sympathy. Putting myself in their shoes. This has become easier as I go older and can draw from previous life experiences.

As they say, life is the best teacher. Your own experiences shouldn’t remain just pictures in a family album; use them as a source of inspiration.

My trade secret to succeeding is to be myself.

Simple but true. People appreciate real emotions and sincere personalities — and they gravitate to those who exude these qualities.

If you are not sure of something, always look for help.

Remember what I said about customer service people and a bundle of sticks? The lesson here is that you’ve got to stick together.

Listen. Empathize. Resolve.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

adapt customer service

On behalf of the Qminder Team and the world’s entire customer base, let me again thank all of you lovely customer service peeps!

Hopefully, we’ve managed to put a smile on your face, same as you do with your customers. Have a great National Customer Service Week and keep being awesome!


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