The battles between vendor and customer simply don't have to be unending. Unfortunately, all too often the client or customer are seen as adversaries. (And to be fair, vice versa. Give the other person a chance before you start attacking the company.) A lot of issues could be avoided completely if we'd all stop and think how something will read or sound. For example:
1. "...your little issues." Whoa! They may seem little to you but they're keeping me up at night.
2."If you'd just read the documentation." This assumes that: a. I've GOT the documentation (that online help feature is broken); b. The documentation addresses my problem. (Seems to me that most "help" documents are written for either the complete idiot or the super techie. No in-between.)
3. "If you'd had only one hour of training on this, you wouldn't be having this problem." This for a piece of software that I've been using for over a year...I've got the basics and I still have those pesky "little" issues. (Turns out the developer hadn't given me the right access levels.)
4. "As we told you when you signed up." You mean five years ago and thousands of dollars in revenue for you later? The last paragraph in 0.5 point type on the back of the terms and conditions? Oh yes, of course. It's all MY fault.
5. "We value your business." Yes, it's a great sentiment...but not when it's in a form letter or phone rep's script...after the company has basically told you they couldn't care less (about your service issue, refund or rebate.) Actions always speak louder than words.
I think the problems are getting worse rather than better. Thanks and no thanks to the myriad ways of being connected (which isn't the same as making a connection.) All the social media stuff can be great, but not when misused and abused. Twitter, for example, is a good way for an instant heads-up re a customer issue. It's a terrible way to gather the details behind the issue. Way too many ways those 140 characters can be mis-typed, mis-interpreted, mis-communicated. Those thumbs can be moving a lot faster than the brain. (even when using all ten fingers...haven't we all gone too fast and furious?)
So, two things: 1. As always, think before you speak/type; 2. Try to see it from the other person's viewpoint (even if you think it's the dumbest view on the planet.)
Lastly, as my Mom once told me, "You can think anything you want." Which means you don't always have to open your big yap...;-)