Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Poor Service?

I think half the problem with the customer service industry is that for the last few decades the media has obsessively ingrained into the national psyche the mantra that ‘the customer is always right’. Quite simply they aren’t.

95% of customers are wonderful people that are a pleasure to serve but at least once a shift you will come across an absolute pig of a customer who just moans needlessly. I hate stereotypes but they usually fall into two types; the self-important businessman or the middle aged moany woman.

They make extremely unreasonable demands. They try and get things out of you that are totally against company policy and no matter how politely you tell them you are unable to cater for those needs they’ll moan and moan. The self-important businessman is the worst because they think that by flashing the cash they can get anything they want.

I always remember a time our ice-making machine to broke down. One gentleman who’d booked a conference with us arrived literally as we discovered the problem went into an absolutely over the top rant when we served him a glass of water.

“Where’s my ice?” He shouted

“As we explained sir there is a fault with the ice machine but don’t worry we have sent someone out to get supplies of ice before the rest of your group arrives.” I told him.

He didn’t listen.

“What this an absolute disgrace, call your selves hospitality when I can’t get ice in my water!” He shouted back red in the face. He demanded to see the manager and get some money of his booking.

Sadly these sort of ignorant customers are on the increase. Literally 20 minutes later we had enough ice to last a fortnight all it takes is a little patience.

The other classic is people who don’t like foodstuffs and complain when their burger or pizza arrives with mushrooms or tomatoes they hate. Any normal person would simply take the foodstuff off they dislike and eat the rest. After all really, if you dislike something it’s hardly the restaurant’s fault. The amount of people that moan though is shocking.

So while I agree that yes, poor customer service is inexcusable, it would be nice if perhaps the nation paused for a moment and considered the service we workers in the industry sometimes get from our customers – it’s just as bad.

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