Customer Service - where frustration begins and ends

bad-customer-serviceI'm currently having a bit of a melt down. Poor customer service is one of bug bears and I have been experiencing it left right and centre recently. From the nationwide pharmacy to a boutique spa hotel, it's all the same...poor. If you run your own business or manage one, then please insist on excellent customer service from yourself and your staff. I completely understand this picture and I have to say that I could have done something like this in recent experiences.

Yesterday I experienced unbelievable inappropriate informality and incompetence at 4-star country spa and hotel. It started when my friend and I sat down and only she was given a menu and it went downhill from there. Add the waiter complaining about his job, his attire and the glorious weather, being ignored when trying to order, a long wait for the order, the order being incorrect, being accused incorrectly of making the mistake twice even after the actual waitress who took the order apologised and accepted responsibility. Then the manager not being called for when asked, not ever again being asked if we wanted drinks, having to ask for condiments and for a missing side order and waiting for almost half an hour for the manager to come. It was a catalogue of errors for an afternoon out that should have been happy and chilled.

On to today when at the pharmacy where the attendant was chatting away about the beach up on Watford Parade and about the customer's house move and all sorts, whilst completely ignoring my existence.The so called customer was her friend and left empty handed. Only once I asked if I should get service somewhere else in the store was I attended to, and then with an angst that was beyond rude. Manners maketh man, but not when you are rude with it and deliver those manners with an attitude. I was told that "I was busy, you know, doing a prescription and servicing a customer, you know" the the clincher "yeah cause prescriptions aren't important" laced with sarcasm. She took payment and then when left with my goods and receipt on the desk. I asked for a bag and the response was "I asked you if you wanted one already." (Laced with angst.) The attitude stunk to high heaven.

I despair, I find that this is not something that is rare, but more and more common place. Things like... attention to detail, manners, warmth, not complaining in front of the customers, taking care and consideration and even as simple as doing your job seem to be things of a bygone era. Each individual who works for you is a marketeer when dealing with your customers because they represent you and your company and whether or not they do a good job determines in the mind of the customer whether or not your company is worth buying from.

Whether or not your staff do a good job determines, in the mind of the customer, whether or not your company is worth buying from. The experience that they have with one individual for many is all that they need to say stay or go.

That one individual may be all your customer experiences of your company, so it's important that they represent the best of you. It is not enough to just sell a product or a service it's important that you leave your customer feeling valued and satisfied with their experience of your business from beginning to end.

Excellent customer service takes work, training and time. You can't jushope that your customer service is enough you need to test it and work on it.

On both occasions, I spoke to the manager in charge who was apologetic and helpful but, in truth, it should never have got to that.

I'm hoping that my experiences improve. Excellent customer service is important it's what every business should be striving for...