“May I Help The Next Customer?”

Screen Shot 2014-11-28 at 4.25.13 PM

I begin most transactions with people in the customer service industry with “Hi, how are you?” It’s a pleasantry that takes only a moment. Sometimes the service rep gets this look on her face like a deer caught in headlights. It becomes immediately obvious that nothing in her experience taught her to be prepared for it.

And why should she be prepared for it, given the signal she sends by initiating our interaction with “May I help the next customer?” Oh what a joy it is to be referred to as “The next customer”. That’s how I think of myself: the next customer. Sure, it’s four more syllables than “May I help you?” but it’s worth it, given that it sends the unmistakable message that our transaction will lack the tiniest trace of authenticity or humanity.

Frankly the DMV’s greeting of “Customer 372” is more personal. After all, everybody is at one time or another “The next customer”. But only I am customer 372.

Do you have customer service grievances? Share them in the comment section below.

Return to daviDDeeble.com.

3 thoughts on ““May I Help The Next Customer?”

  1. My doctor came into the examining room one day I greeting him with a “Hello and how are you today?” He smiled and told me that it was the first time in over five years that someone asked him how he was.

    • Dennis – What a wonderful anecdote. Most of us understand that “How are you?” is, in the English-speaking world, a form of greeting and not the equivalent of “Tell me how you’re doing”. It is without question, however, more personal no pleasantry at all. Of such vital importance is one’s health that my first response was that a patient cannot be expected say “How are you?” to a doctor. But on second why should a doctor’s office be any different? Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *