The Russian Customer Service Handbook

By: leelefever on September 29, 2006 - 5:08am

 On a personal level, we have met wonderful people in Russia.  From our guides to our homestay hosts to friends like Lilia, Diana and Olga.  However, there is an element of the Russian experience that leaves me cold:  customer service.  The handbook below is dedicated to our not-so-wonderful adventures with Russian customer service people.


The Russian Customer Service Handbook

As a person who is about to enter the customer service industry in Russia, it is important to understand the environment in which you will work.  The points below should be followed without exception.

  • Under no circumstances should you smile or laugh.
  • When someone approaches you seeking help, feel free to ignore them for as long as possible.  Finish what you are doing first and quickly look for other items to make you appear busy.
  • If they speak a language you don't understand, the most effective response is to roll your eyes and sigh while turning away.
  • Do not greet a customer or recognize their presence until they demand your attention. 
  • A cold scowl is the standard facial expression- use it effectively.
  • When a transaction is complete, slide the money to the customer and walk away.  "thank-yous" are not recommended.
  • As you are completing a transaction, ask yourself "Am I being as efficient as possible?" If so, slow down or stop completely.  Efficiency only matters to the customer.
  • If your friend calls your mobile phone while you work, by all means answer it and do your best to complete the transaction while talking.
  • Eye contact should only happen by accident.  Try your best to make the customer feel as if they are inhuman, like a robot.
  • Remember that foreigners are a nuisance and should be treated as such.  They deserve no special treatment whatsoever.
  • Because foreigners have not taken the time to learn the Russian language, their method of pointing and gesturing to communicate should be viewed with contempt.  Remember: ROLL THE EYES - it is the perfect response.
  • Foreigners do not understand how to deal with money and never provide exact change.  When this happens, raise your voice a bit and hope that someone else can translate.
  • If a foreigner cannot provide exact change, snatch the money from their hand with an aggressive motion.  After you've gone to all the trouble to make change, slap it onto the counter forcefully and walk away.  Perhaps, over time, they will understand.

If you should have any questions or concerns about this handbook, please don't contact me.

~Your Russian Customer Service Manager

Post From: Moscow, RU
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By: anthony on October 2, 2006 - 10:45am
that's hilarious.