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Behind the Scenes as a Customer Service Worker 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

Welcome to Customer Service Fundamentals! Customer service is the direct one-on-one interaction between a consumer and the representative of the company. Today, customer service is more than solving a customer’s problems; it’s about delivering proactive and immediate support to customers and being hospitable. It means being confident in your work, being present, and empathetic, not just having a pretty smile on. 

Customer service is crucial for your brand’s reputation. It’s the element that sets your brand apart from competitors that offer similar or the same products or service. As we know, customers are quick to share negative experiences with the masses online. The key is to connect with the customer and let them know you are there to help with their every need. So, why is it that people make it so hard for us to serve them properly? This is the moment where a lot of people click off, not agreeing with that last sentence, and that’s fine. If you stayed, I could trust you are willing to learn and understand customer service from the worker’s point of view. I have worked in the customer service industry for… my whole life. Fortunately, in quite different fields, which allows me to have a better understanding of it all.  

I have worked at hotels for almost 4 years now. During these 4 years, I would always work holidays and their busiest days. I’m good at my job, and I know it, also all the complimentary reviews prove it. One person not agreeing with me does not determine my overall service. During this one busy day, one family was trying to check-in into their room, and everything was going perfectly until their credit card was declined. Tell me why the father’s first reaction was to scream that I was wrong. After that, he would not allow me to speak because I was trying to say something that did not start with “I am sorry” or “you are right” and he did not want to listen otherwise. I did not owe him an apology. I live and work in Puerto Rico, which many people don’t understand means that even though we are, unfortunately, a United States colony, you must call your bank and notify them if you are visiting. People tend to close off out of embarrassment once this happens, but I must tell you, this is not the way to react, we are trying to help and the last thing I want is to leave a family without a place to sleep. After many ugly interactions, including him throwing his credit card in my face, I was able to tell him to call his bank. Which he did, and lo and behold, the card worked! Perfect, he was back to being nice and I was able to check them in. Before the check-in, when everything was going all right, I was about to provide them with an upgrade, but I quickly changed my mind after that interaction. I knew, because of their identification, that it was the wife’s birthday, so say goodbye to the welcome drinks I was going to offer. If you are angry or frustrated with the bank, as he explained, why would you lash out at me, an employee at the hotel? I refuse to become a punching bag for immature and emotionally unintelligent people.  

If I tell you the hotel policies and hours for the facilities, don’t yell at me that you don’t like the pool hours. Also, it is not my fault how much breakfast costs. Yes, this is my job but when you say I “need to serve you” it is, one, not true, and, two, does not change the policies. If that is the room you selected in your reservation, that would be the room you are getting. Most hotels have security deposits, so please read the hotel’s information before deciding to book with them. Housekeepers will not enter your room if you have the “Do not disturb” sign out. Do not try to touch or fight the security guard, for obvious reasons. If everyone on the same floor is calling the front desk and complaining that there is a fight going on, I am going to call you and make sure things are all right, as well as send security if necessary, it is not me being nosy. Yes, these are things that happen to me weekly. These are the moments my customer service is 100 percent when it could be 300 percent or more.  

I admit customer service can be tiring but it can be extremely rewarding too. I get to meet an insane amount of incredible people on this job. This is my calling and what I love to do, but it’s discouraging when negative things happen at your job, and I try not to let it get to me, but customers need to understand that we are also humans and deserve just as much respect. Also, being nice and having basic human decency can be the difference between getting the bare minimum or extraordinary service. 

Adrianna Lorainne Centeno is majoring in Foreign Languages in the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, making this their second Bachelor's Degree. They are best known for their ability to engage in conversations with everybody, one of their greatest quantities; along with being creative, versatile and open-minded. Lorainne is a published writer in different platforms thanks to their poetry book "Hours of sleepless nights". You can always find them criticizing and reviewing a book, movie or series and looking for the undertones on everything.