What the hell happened to Customer Service?
Before the age of the automated voice prompt, excellent customer service was the top priority for many businesses and companies. As a matter of fact, companies always affirmed their promise and assurance to excellent service. The term “Customer is the King” was strongly upheld. Back then, companies took pride in being committed to keeping their customers happy to regenerate business.
However, a lot has changed over the past few years. Good Customer (not great just good) service has become an elusive beast. Customer service has been traded-in for making money. But then, when did money substitute for treating others respectfully?
I can vividly remember my ugly experience with a restaurant manager recently. I went with my four friends to have lunch. The waitress that waited on us was not-so-nice; smarmy would be a better description. To say their customer service was poor was an understatement. We got to the restaurant early, just before the lunch rush, and there was just one other customer in the place.
First, we were made to wait for about 10 minutes before the waitress approached (while the hostess stood around talking to another employee) our table to take our drink orders, and then she disappeared. We waited for another 10 minutes before our drinks were served. The rest of the meal was a hodgepodge of awkward fits of service. Our simple meals of 4 cheeseburgers took about 25 minutes to serve.
After we paid and left the restaurant, the manager chased after us in the parking lot shouting, “Where is the silverware?” We couldn’t figure out what he was talking about, but after some seconds, we were able to deduce he meant we stole the silverware. He continued to accost us for what seemed like an eternity about his missing silverware.
A couple of minutes into the drama, one of his staff walked up to him and whispered something, and walks off. We followed suit. When we got back in the restaurant, we asked the manager what happened. He continued to ignore us, and instead he made a slight hissing sound. And then, the not-so-nice waitress told us they misplaced the silverware, but it’s found. We asked the Manager once more and his reply was “Silverware has been found.” He acted as if all those accusations never happened. No apology rendered!
How does a place like this manage to stay in business? How did the manager ever make it this far in his career with an attitude like that? Is this what Customer Service has turned into? Had this restaurant attended my Service Bootcamp or other training, none of this ever would have happened.
A lot of businesses and companies ignore the level of damage poor customer service can do to their image and their bottom line. Word spreads quickly. One unhappy customer will turn hundreds of people away from patronizing the business or company.
Take the time now to go through your business to see if you have any “not so nice waitresses”, leaders or managers and either correct their behavior NOW or show them the door. It has to be done with conviction. Your business depends on it.
For more on Disney Style Service and small business marketing, check out my free special report “Systematic MAGIC, How to Disnify Any Business”. Vance Morris is a Walt Disney World Resort Management Alumni, having spent 10 years as an executive in the Resorts. He runs the only Disney Service & Direct Response Marketing business on the planet. Here he coaches companies to create Disney Style Service Systems and then monetize them through direct response marketing. He is also the GKIC 2015 Marketer of the Year. He can be reached at www.DeliverServiceNow.comor firstname.lastname@example.org .