Don't wait, go now.
Working in customer service makes you a nicer person when you interact with other people that work in customer service because you understand the hell that they work in. I can always tell the people who have never had to work in retail because those people are total assholes when they call me at my work. I work in a call center right now, so I get the nice ones and the ones that scream at me about how I don't understand and blah, blah, blah. Lawyers and doctors have been the worst for me. "TALKING TO YOU RIGHT NOW IS COSTING ME MONEY!!!" Well then, QUIT YELLING AT ME AND IT'LL TAKE LESS TIME. The more you interrupt me to tell me about how awful it is that life isn't perfect, the longer it's going to take to solve your problem. If you don't have anything nice to say, shut up and let me work.
Here, this link shows why a lot of people hate their lives when they work in customer service. There's a lot of awesome, rockin' customers out there that I will bend over backwards for, but the few real assholes always stand out way more because those people can just ruin your day.
That brings me to my first tip for working with customer service.
1. DO NOT SCREAM AND SWEAR AND BE A JERK
Seriously, don't do it. It actually makes the interaction slower because we have to spend half of it "deescalating" your little temper tantrum. How would YOU treat someone if they were screaming and swearing at you? I am not as helpful to mean people because I want them to go away. I will not point out things that could save them time or money because honestly, I don't notice those things when I'm trying to calm someone down. I don't want to deal with them any more than I have to because they are unpleasant. Want faster, better service? BE NICE.
2. DON'T CALL IN WHILE TAKING OTHER CALLS/DON'T TALK ON YOUR PHONE DURING CHECKOUT
God this one annoys me. If you are calling in for customer service or tech support, don't take a bunch of other calls while on the phone with the representative, you're screwing up that rep's call time. Yes, you are the customer and yes, you are important. But that representative on the other line is a human that is more than worthy of your respect. This rule applies to being on the phone while at the register of a store. It's just plain rude and disrespectful. How would YOU feel if someone did that to you while you were trying to help them?
3. CALL WHEN YOU HAVE FREE TIME
It bugs me when people are like, "I don't have time for this" or "I am in a hurry, can we speed this up?" I can try to go faster, but honestly, it takes as long is it takes. Quit rushing me.
4. DON'T SAY THINGS REALLY, SUPER FAST
If you say stuff really fast, we're going to have to ask you to repeat it and we might get it wrong. On the other hand, don't say stuff horribly slow. It takes up our call time and is annoying (though preferable to the fast talk).
5. DON'T BE CREEPY
Seriously. Don't. I had a guy that said things so borderline inappropriate on a call that I had to take a break afterwards because I was so uncomfortable. We HAVE to be nice to you on the phone, don't take advantage of that. It's not fair to us. I had some serious creepers when I use to work in a grocery store, too. Would you want someone creeping on you? Would you want someone creeping on YOUR daughter/sister/mother/aunt?
6. SURVEYS REFLECT ON THE REPRESENTATIVE, NOT YOUR PRODUCT
I got an "unsatisfactory" survey back that said I was fine but that they didn't like the product. Thanks, jerk. I now have a bad mark because you don't like something I can't control.
7. KNOW WHY YOU'RE CALLING
This will save you time and enable your rep to help you better. Try to figure out your question before you call in to a call center or else you'll end up on the phone for half an hour just trying to figure out what you want. If you just aren't sure how to say it, well, call in then and we'll figure it out, lol.
8. KNOW YOUR INFO
This one makes me laugh a bit. People call in and don't know anything about their account and then have to put me on hold to go get it all together. It will save both of us time if you grab that ahead of time.
9. THE CUSTOMER IS NOT ALWAYS RIGHT
I'm sorry, but they aren't. There's even a site called Not Always Right that talks about all the silly things that customers say/think. I know that I as a customer have been wrong and when I was, I accepted that. I hate when people think that they are ALWAYS right and then argue with me to try to get their way.
Just don't. It's rude. I don't tell you how to do yours. :P
11. DON'T GET PISSY THAT WE NEED TO VERIFY YOU
When you call places, they ask you a bunch of questions to make sure you are who you say you are because fraud happens. A LOT. And I mean A LOT. I get calls from people all the time who need to update their credit cards because of FRAUD. Just answer the questions.
12. DON'T TRY TO BARTER WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE
Save it for the sales department. We can't do anything for you, so don't get mad when we say no. We're not there to make bargains, we're there to solve problems and help you out.
EDIT: 13. DON'T IMMEDIATELY ASK FOR A SUPERVISOR
We can't send you to one and it's insulting that you assume that we can't help you. Let us try to help you first.
So there you have it. A small list of tips for getting through customer service faster and for being a better customer. Fell free to add your own in the comments section. :)
<3 - CFC