Thursday, 12 November 2020

Service with a smile

I don't want to moan, but you know I'm going to. Has customer service gone down the shit chute? Recently I was in a well known shopping emporium owned by a Mr Smith at a Rail station. I bought my self a can of coke for the journey.

The whole encounter took just a minute or two. During this time I said 'hello' and 'thank you'. The girl behind the counter never spoke a word! After she handed me my change I said, " Excuse me but we have just made a transaction here and you have not spoken one word".

Her response was, "No and I'm not going to".

I like going into restaurants and I always tip well for good service. The more known I become the better the service I get. I have noticed that in restaurants where a 12% service charge is added to the bill the service is not always up to standard. And anyway when did tipping/service charge rise from 10%, that kind crept up on us a few years ago. Catering is one of a few businesses where you are sold the goods for a stated price and then the overheads are added to the bottom of the bill after the goods have been consumed albeit by tipping or fixed service charge,. Why is that? Why is it that certain service industries work different to the rest? 

I remember as a kid, when out shopping with mummy, if the service in a shop was poor she would never go back there again and I mean never! Of course 60 odd years ago that would have happened very rarely.

What has happened? Why did it all change? What has happened in our society that makes it OK for some Service staff to think that service isn't important? Are we right to expect good service? 

I have worked in the service industry in a few face to face roles and I thoroughly enjoyed that connection. If I were to be put in a position where I had to go back to work again, that is what I would do. I know I moan a lot here, but I am also well aware that the man/woman/child who walks through the door with cash to spend is a very important part of my job. No customers no job!

A few years back I enquired about the salary paid on hotel boats, just for info I was curious. I was told I didn't have any customer skills. Well I found this laughable. 

A short time later those particular hotel boats came to our area to pick up their next troop of 'sailors'. The last to arrive was a dear old frail lady of over 80 who seemed rather bothered that it would be a good long walk down to where the hotel boat was moored.  She wasn't my customer but on hearing she was in a pickle I escorted her on to a day boat I had at my disposal and we cruised on down the canal to where the hotel boats were waiting. After gently transferring her to the hotel boat. I left saying tell XXXXXXX that Maffi says that's what he calls customer service. A Point well made I think!

I don't think every situation requires staff to go the extra mile, but a nice smile (difficult when you have been on your feet all day I know) is not much to ask. After  all it takes more muscles to frown that it does to smile. So smiling makes the job easier, Yes?

1 comment:

Lisa said...

You are a very kind person as if we didn't know.