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January 2018

What message does the quality of your customer service send?

The past few weeks have included a number of frustrating experiences in businesses where I am a frequent customer – the pharmacy, the Mike-wilson-188132supermarket, the bank, and in other local stores which I visit rarely, but have now crossed off my list entirely, including two local fast food establishments.

The problem in all cases was horrendous customer service – ranging from staff being snarky, impatient, disrespectful, engaged in conversation with other staff instead of waiting on customers, texting while waiting on me, the use of profanity by employees while in earshot of customers, having a lack of information about products they were selling or promoting or giving me incorrect information which ultimately cost me time and money.

In one instance the manager admitted the problem was a lack of adequate staff training because the store recently underwent a major managerial change and reduction in staff which necessitated hiring a good number of employees quickly and getting them to work as soon as possible.

I appreciated his acknowledgment of the problem and his plan to fix it.

However, with the extent of such poor customer service across so many venues I believe the problem is more one of a basic lack of civility, manners and serious work ethic among potential employees before they are even hired.

Employers today have a challenge when it comes to customer service training, but it’s a challenge that must be met if they don’t want their businesses, and their revenues, to suffer.

Employers must ask themselves, “What kind of message am I sending to my customers about the company’s mission and vision, and the importance of our customers in both?"

Photo by Mike Wilson on Unsplash