Great Southern Lad had an interesting post about his poor experience with retail customer service in London. I loved his "first rule of customer service." The interesting thing is that his expectations are fairly low – just a hint of courtesy and friendliness is what he expects. Then he reports a common response he hears from people: "they aren’t paid to be courteous."
I disagree. When you are hired into a customer service position, whether it’s a retail clerk or a call center CSR, you are paid to provide service according to your employer’s standards (hopefully, the employer is listening to customers in setting that standard). You are (people always hate when I use this term – but it’s accurate) a customer servant. If you can’t or aren’t willing to provide that level of service you should find a job that doesn’t require human interaction.