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Two-sided problem

I've been on both sides of the aisle here and the issue is multifaceted. I worked in many customer service related positions throughout my undergrad and graduate years in doctor's and lawyer's offices as well as at UNCW. Overall I enjoyed helping customers/clients and meeting new people. Most of the time the dynamic has been very positive. Things begin to break down though when the customer/client makes personal comments, begins to scream, yell or threaten violence. Thankfully, I have found that this happens rarely, and can often be diffused if you lower your voice and remain calm instead of rising to their level, but this can be very difficult and some people are simply out of control. In those instances, I think the company/office has the right to demand an apology from the client or "fire" them. At the same time, I do feel that there has been a decline in customer service in many places. I agree that some stores and restaurants make you feel like an interloper where staff can be inattentive and sullen. Finally, NEVER make it difficult for the customer to pay for anything.

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