Sunday, February 13, 2011

Be Nice (Or Else!)

As a Beauty Product Specialist, I work with clients firsthand, on a daily basis. When clients call wanting advice on which beauty products to try or need advice on how to use products, they talk to me. When clients call and want to place an order over the phone, they talk to me. When clients are upset with the products they ordered, the state their order arrived in or if their order didn't arrive at all, I am the person they vent to. The way I look at it, each call is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

I just started reading "Be Nice (Or Else!)" by Winn Claybaugh a couple of weeks ago. I received this book as one of my kit items while I was attending school at SFIEC last year. My life has been crazy busy with graduating from school and now working two jobs. I am just now getting around to making the time to read the book. It's a lighthearted book written with the sole purpose to inspire its readers on how to start their own "Be Nice" revolution with themselves, at home, in the world, at work and with total strangers. It's pretty basic stuff. In the end, it just takes practice on being nice to everyone that you encounter in your life (including yourself) on a daily basis. I thought it couldn't hurt to read the book, especially since in my line of work, I deal with a number of people everyday.

I thought it was kind of ironic (or was it?) that I had this book sitting beside me on my desk at work last week during probably one of the roughest calls I've had to date. The call started off with the client strongly expressing to me how upset she was and that she demanded me to personally fix the problem she was having.

Once I figured out what exactly was causing her trouble, I quickly got to work with being part of her solution. Being part of the solution meant having to be on hold with her financial institution for a half hour. During the time I was dealing with her financial institution, I kept checking back in with the upset client to update her with information on the progress I had been making.

During one of those times that I was checking in on the client, the client lost it. I mean full on, profanity, yelling at the top of her lungs, letting out all of her frustration-type of lost it. Instead of hitting the "Release" button on the phone, I glanced over at my "Be Nice (Or Else!)" book cover and smiled. Once the client had stopped to catch her breath, I calmly reminded her that I was here to help her. I reassured her that I wasn't going to disconnect the call until I had completely solved her problem. Then I put her back on hold again and finished my work with the financial institution.

Once I got back on the line with the client, I explained to her why she was having the problem in the first place and let her know that I had resolved the issue with her bank. She thanked me for my patience and apologized for her outburst. Apparently it was her birthday and she had spent two hours on the phone, on hold with her financial institution, then with me and then with me AND her financial institution. Not exactly how anyone would want to spend the first few hours of their birthday.

Even though I work in the beauty industry, I know that beauty doesn't come in the form of a cream, gel, powder or a spray. True beauty comes from within. Being nice is truly beautiful. Being nice doesn't always come naturally. It takes a lot of practice to be nice on a daily basis, especially when there is a complete stranger on the other end of the line yelling at you.

This is a situation where being nice really paid off for me. I was happy to have resolved the call with the client peacefully and positively. Sure the call was rough and left me completely drained,  but I know that I gave it my all. In the end, I walked away from this situation feeling better just because I made a point to be nice.

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