Monday, May 03, 2010

The Lost Art of Customer Service

I feel a little cranky today, so I thought I'd touch on a subject that is near and dear to my heart, customer service! A long time ago in the 80's I worked in retail. Customer service was really the priority in every job I had. It didn't matter if the customer wore the item, if we didn't even HAVE the item, if the customer yelled and screamed, we gave them what they wanted. It was MANDATORY! We greeted everyone, asked if they needed help, was there to actually help them when they needed it and we rang them up with a smile and said have a nice day.

Now you can walk into a store, no one even looks at you. You can stand at the register for an hour before someone bothers to ring you up. If you ask them a question, they say they don't know or we don't have anymore, because they're too lazy to look it up for you, or call somewhere else. I know I'm pigeonholing, but 89% of the time, this is the case!

Another thing is that people don't listen. Today, I went to Taco Bell for lunch. I told him what I wanted and told him the order was for here and I needed a cup for water. He then proceeded to ask me what kind of burrito I wanted, after I had said chicken and I told him I didn't want sauce in it. He asked me you didn't want sauce right? And after I said again, chicken burrito with no sauce, he said what kind of burrito? Now, I do not have an accent, I didn't have a cold that day, I'm pretty sure I enunciated correctly, why couldn't he understand my order??? Then he asked me was it for here or to go, after I had told him when I first ordered. Yes, I get grumpy and sarcastic when I encounter these people because I remember the good old days of customer service. Oh, and if they really wrong me, everyone and anyone will hear about it. I even review places on Yelp and post complaints. My husband calls me the squeaky wheel, and boy do I squeak!!

I always like to reward GOOD customer service. Whenever I get good service, I always make it a point to tell the manager and/or employee that I enjoyed their service, or thanks for being efficient, or understanding my order/situation, etc. I'm hoping that if enough people get the good customer service bug, then there will be less cranky people in the world and we can all walk around smiling, with butterflies and rainbows following us wherever we go. Hey, a girl can dream can't she?

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