Customer Service at its Finest: Keeping it Cool and Displaying Grace in the Face of an Irate Customer

A video circulated the web last week about a woman who went bonkers at Dunkin Donuts, demanding free food for a receipt she didn’t receive, and recording herself on video at that. If you haven’t seen this yet, you can watch the video over at Gawker.
The gist of the story is, this woman (who we now know as 27-year old Taylor Chapman) stormed Dunkin Donuts in Fort Lauderdale with a mission to expose the employee who she claimed to have not honored the “no receipt, food is free” company policy the day before. She got it all on video—demanding free food, throwing racist comments at the employee manning the counter and shouting profanities at the DD staff without any guilt or shame.
And then she uploaded the video online.
What she thought would get her lots of support from social media for exposing bad customer service backfired on her; instead, the employee/s who endured the wrath of Taylor Chapman that day earned a much-deserved recognition from the world wide web and from Dunkin Donuts itself.

Whatever Happened to “The Customer Is Always Right”?

Dunkin Donuts Customer Service
What happened is, this timeless customer service mantra has been abused to a point where customers like Taylor Chapman take it as some form of power to mistreat people. Hubspot has good points on this matter, providing real stories about people in customer service who had to go through such abuse, and raising a question on where to draw the line.
We have entered an era where customers have the means to expose bad customer service through technology and social media. But what’s even more remarkable is, this generation of netizens is also more discerning than ever.
Such is the case with this Dunkin Donut incident, where online strangers mobilized to give recognition to the guy behind the counter instead of tolerating the irrational ways of the customer who decided to unleash hell on him.

Dedication to Customer Service is Not In Vain

At this point, the internet has done its due diligence to track the people involved in this commotion.
Everyone now knows who Taylor Chapman is, in spite her taking down her Facebook page as soon as her video went viral and she started getting nasty comments on her wall. We also know what course she took in college and from where, where she used to work, even the name of her fiance.
And then there’s the guy behind the counter, whose name is Abid Adar. The 18 year old high school graduate who is now in the customer service hall of fame for showing remarkable composure and professionalism in such a horrible situation. We also know that he aspires to be a doctor someday.
Dunkin Donuts recognized Abid (and his co-worker Nithi) via its Twitter page, and is said to have invited both of them in an internal company event in Boca Raton for further recognition. Dunkin Donuts’ spokesperson Jessica Gioglio said in a statement,

We are aware of the video and the situation that occurred at the Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant located in Fort Lauderdale. We commend the franchisee’s crew member for handling this difficult situation with grace and patience. We believe this is a powerful example of great customer service and the respect our crew members have for our guests.

And because the web is still not satisfied, a random stranger from Texas started an Indiegogo page raising an amount of $10,000 for Abid and Nithi, for whatever purpose this financial reward will serve. At the time of this writing, the campaign has already raised $9,477.

The Rewards of Customer Service

Being in the customer service business for decades, we know how it’s like to deal with all kinds of customers, and to strive to maintain composure through one irate customer to the next. One trick that allows us to keep our sanity in an environment such as customer service is to not take things personally.
I know that’s quite an irony, knowing that customer service often takes up a lot of personal hours, and can be emotionally draining to some extent. But when you put your clients above your own interests, or when you set aside your personal issues to meet the needs of others—the rewards of that is simply endless.

Photo credit

Rhiza Oyos

Rhiza is passionate about customer experience, customer relations management, and social media. She likes scouring the web for interesting stories about customer service and blogs them here at transcosmos.

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