I work in customer service and media relations. I pride myself on my level of customer service. At my last workplace my customer service score was 100%. During my Target Mobile tenure, one of my customers sent an email to Target Canada’s head office praising my service. During my management team’s follow up calls, they tell me how my customers praise my empathy, genuine interest in them & product knowledge. There’s a reason my friends call me in the Cow Province instead of their cell providers in Ontario; because I take pride in my job & my ability to do it well. They call me “Cell Phone Jesus” (although I prefer the title “Queen of Telecommunications” as is in my Twitter bio). Thanks to this, I may never need to apply for a job again, for I’m often contacted by recruiters for open positions. In fact, I’m currently in the interview process for a new position that will help me transition my wireless career into a wireless/public relations career. I REALLY want this job, so if you could send all the happy thoughts, love, trend the #HireMHC tag on Twitter, prayers or sacrifices to Cthulu, that’d be GREAT (yup, I humblebragged. Fight me).
But customer service is super important to me, because as both a customer service representative & a person who buys stuff, I expect it on both sides of the counter. So, when I see an example of poor customer service in my travels, I tend to want to comment.
This past week, lovable WWE jerk Kevin Owens made a comment online about a restaurant called Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce, claiming he waited quite some time & he and his wife Karina ended up leaving when they were told to wait even longer for their meal. The staff then proceeded to take catty shots on Twitter in a manner reminiscent of Owens’s in character tweets to fans & then somehow, the story ended up being relevant enough to be discussed on Ariel Helwani’s podcast, prompting Owens to post a rebuttal. While right now, it’s a source of annoyance for Owens, it’s a helpful lesson in good customer service.
I always tell my team that we are representing a company and cellular brands. We are the face of them. If we do a good job, they tell their friends. If we don’t, they tell EVERYONE. Go to any restaurant or cell company’s Facebook & see the comments of “I went into _____ location & they were dicks!” Or ask someone what cell company/restaurant to recommend. They will lead with “don’t go here, they suck.” Why? Because humans naturally gravitate towards the negative. When I think of my first cell phone & the bad customer experience I received (I won’t name names), I know that bias slips into my work, as I lead with Rogers phones, as I’ve had great service with Rogers. Once again, that level of positive service reaps rewards. I’ve never met Kevin Owens, but I do know based on this, I won’t go to Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce next time I’m in Montreal either. Not because of the complaint, but the response & the continued attempts to embarrass Mr. Owens afterwards. That’s just bad customer service. That night, he wasn’t lovable jerk Kevin Owens; he was thoughtful husband Kevin Steen, a guy that really just wanted to take his wife out to dinner. He got poor service & made a comment about it on social media, you know, like everyone else ever.
I think I empathized with him because I know how seriously Kevin Owens takes his role as brand ambassador for WWE. Last September, my mom bought my kids & I WWE live event tickets to celebrate my youngest’s sixth birthday (& mine, which is 10 days later). My youngest, dressed in her Nikki Bella gear from head to toe carefully made a sign saying she wanted to meet her hero, as well as her favourite wrestler, Seth Rollins. However, Nikki Bella was injured, but fellow Diva Natalya helped my child get a birthday wish from Nikki, which she did & is still on her IG. However, when Kevin Owens arrived, my then eight year old rushed over to the fence to try and get an autograph for her uncle, who’s birthday had just passed & a shy eight year old was drowned out by the “it’s still real to them” crowd & he didn’t hear her. She cried. My oldest suggested we put it on Twitter & maybe it could be funny promo fodder or we’d get a snarky tweet because she finds them funny. After all, it was an accident. Even my eight year old knew it was an accident & had moved on to seeing if she could wave to Cody Rhodes. Owens tweeted back asking what had happened, and even though I stressed it was an accident, she was fine, no harm done, he arranged for the girls to go backstage to the meet & greet, where they got to meet Seth Rollins (& they all nearly died of joy) & messaged a belated birthday wish to their uncle. By the end of the night, my eight year old was crying again, because she didn’t get to meet Owens to thank him. But to say it didn’t stick out is an understatement. Many of my wrestling fan friends already liked Owens for his in ring ability, but his commitment to the fans made them respect him more. My kids adore Kevin Owens & can’t wait for his action figure to arrive (although it DOES have to apologize to their Sami Zayn for the whole being a jerk to Sami Zayn thing) & I have no problem lining his coffers with my purchases of Kevin Owens merchandise (even though I’m sure his gesture has more to do with him being a father of a child close in age than my buying his merch). The guy running the Notre-Bouef-De-Grâce Twitter could learn from him.
For my family, Kevin Owens isn’t just a wrestler; he’s a guy who did a really cool thing for my kids. He didn’t have to do anything. But he did & my kids are forever grateful. Nikki Bella didn’t have to wish my daughter a happy birthday. She wasn’t even there! But she, Natalya & Owens went above & beyond & it’ll always stick out & I’ll never tank them enough. THAT is being a brand ambassador & something too few people seem to care about. Both situations started with a tweet about an experience. The difference is that Owens represented his company well & Notre-Boeuf-De-Grâce didn’t.
It costs you absolutely zero dollars to be a good person, but being a douche can cost you many dollars. While the customer may not always be right, they are a person too & should be respected, even if the answer isn’t one they wanted to hear. A simple “sorry you had a bad time, did you want to DM us what happened?” Could have gone a long way. In this day and age of social media, restaurants can’t afford to be sassy to anyone because by day’s end, the universe will know & you will only have yourself to blame when your business looks bad.
We all work with people every day. Treat them like they were your best friend, not like just another customer, or chances are, you won’t have any more.