This topic can seem tricky. Unfair. Nope, I’m not going to do it. I so understand why you may think this way.
Humility and humiliation are often interchanged and it can be confusing. Yet, they are words that are only related with the letters. They mean two very different things in our gig world.
Customer service is a wonderful skillset to bring to the gig world of making a living.
For some of us, we come by learning about customer service as teens working in franchises where service is the name of the game. Most franchises have high competition and the managers are quick to instruct new employees on what this means. Hence, some confusion with humiliation. To be corrected in a way we are handling a customer can seem humiliating.
Some of us never make the cut that would prepare us for gig work. How many times have we had to ‘gulp’ and say nothing to a customer who feels angry or wronged by our service? We feel the initial shame of doing something ‘bad’, and sometimes that manifests into the angry part. I think it’s a process we go through and learn from.
Not every person is cut out for gig work and the humility of being of service. It can feel demeaning. It can make you want to just run from it.
I encourage you to hang in with the gig work, though. Smile (even if you don’t mean it), apologize to the customer, be humble and put yourself in their shoes. Even if you think they are wrong. It’s how we provide great customer service to people.
The humility of customer service begins with feeling gracious. It will manifest into the entire workday. Sometimes when I am stressed out from something not going well, I do a gratitude list of why I love gig work. My ‘boss’ (that being me) is forgiving of my thoughts. Deeds of revenge are never an option. So, I begin with my list of why I love gig work and never want anything else.
I know, I know. I too have a 12 year old brat inside of me that just wants to get a pass and say things harsh or terse to feel better. It’s not an option when it’s your (yes YOUR) business.
You know ratings and tips are something you depend on. You do want to excel as a gig worker, right? This is where humility comes in.
The customer makes demands you feel are beyond what is ‘just okay’? I suggest practicing humility and pleasing them. You will feel so much better. Trust me. You really will.
If you’ve ever wondered “how can I best serve this person’s needs?” and chosen the road of not serving, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, I bet. It sticks with you and well, it could be a very important lesson in life.
Humility in customer service will pay you well. In more ways than just a good rating or tip. It is one of the most important tools in your gig work tool box. I guarantee if you do everything you can to please the customer, it will serve you well in all your future endeavors with customers in the gig economy.
I’m not saying the customer is always right. No, no. We understand how that plays out in some instances.
Helping out a customer with a need from you, the gig worker, is sometimes carrying the bags a bit further. Or using plastic instead of paper bags. Or following the delivery instructions. Maybe a text / photo of a replacement. Simple things that make them see you are caring about the service for them.
Humility can pay you dividends for all your gig work. Smile no matter what. Be of service. You will never regret it. Your ‘boss’ will love you for it!