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The Extinction of Good Customer Service
Sunday, January 6, 2013

  Seriously, what ever happened to good customer service?  It's like the only places where they even offer it these days are at ritzy hotels in foreign countries, and that's only because the employees are grateful they even have a job to support their families.

  Torontonians: Do you honestly believe you are above being attentive and polite to customers while you're on the job?  Or would you rather get what you actually deserve, which is get fired and replaced? I'm sure this isn't only in the Toronto area, but I've noticed it a lot here.  

  For example, I was in Brampton a few years ago at Shoeless Joe's and I wanted to order a drink.  It took 15 minutes for the waitress to come by after we sat down, then it took 20 minutes to get a beer.  Call me impatient, but I'm pretty sure it should only take less than 2 minutes to grab the beer from the fridge, punch it into the computer, bring it to my table and open the bottle.  

  It was a quiet Tuesday night and I sat at a table right by the bar.  Getting a refill was an impossible task because the bartenders just had to discuss their weekend plans and who was dating who before tending the bar... and the waitress went missing for like an hour.  End of the night, the waitress came by with the bill, I paid my dues and left her a tip- I wrote "Tip: Pay attention to your tables- we were thirsty!" on the receipt and left it in the receipt holder.

  Again- Shoeless Joe's in Mississauga- they had the worst bartender for about 2 years.  She was a cute blonde with glasses who was too busy flirting with the male customers to bother giving me a drink menu... that difficult request was pending for about 10 minutes until I had to walk up to her, interrupt her flirt-fest and ask her again.  Pouring a beer took her 15 minutes.  Mind you, this location improved immensely after their recent renovations and changed management.  The bartender isn't the same so now you can get a beer in a reasonable amount time. 

  Next up, The Friar and Firkin pub in Toronto. It took 20 minutes for the waitress to come to the table to take our orders. It took an hour for my diabetic father to get his food, which is bull because he had low blood sugar at the time. I went here when I last saw my sister, brother-in-law and 3 of their kids.  They are out-of-towners from California and most of them have never been to Toronto, let alone Canada.  Bad first impression, Canadians.  Bad.  

  My 8-year old nephew ordered buffalo wings and our waitress brought him honey garlic wings instead.  We politely told her that his order was wrong and she snapped and said, "No!  You're wrong- I know what he ordered."  We all snapped at that bitch and had to talk to her manager.  It was a busy night and he had to take the time to correct the order and take the wings off the bill- which was the right thing to do after that nonsense.  

  Something is seriously wrong if you have to waste the manager's time by telling him his staff is incompetent and need to adjust their attitudes.  

Cardinal rules before taking a job where you have to talk to people: 

1.) Acknowledge the customer right away.  If you are busy with something else, make eye contact, smile, and let them know that you will be with them in a moment.. maybe ask them to take a seat, if possible until you are free.

2.) Listen to your customers.  Nothing is worse than someone who doesn't listen and you have to repeat yourself.

3.) If you tell a customer "It will be ready in 5 minutes" you damn well know it better be.  I'm sure a lot of your customers have other things to do in their day rather than sitting at a restaurant and waiting for their food.

4.) Be helpful.  If there is a problem, try to resolve it in a polite and reasonable manner.  Genuinely apologize, and if possible, offer something additional to maybe keep your customers happy.

5.) Look like you enjoy your job.  I can sense a fake personality and honestly- if you're that transparent, you probably shouldn't have a job where you have to talk to people in the first place.  If you're not genuine, you're not trustworthy.

6.) Know your manners.  "Please" and "Thank you" are the magic words.  Also, "Excuse me" when there is someone in your way.  This should apply to all events in your life, not just work.

  So.. what are you waiting for- the Messiah to come down and judge you on your customer service?  If you're too 'high and mighty' to the point you feel entitled to be a complete asshole to customers, then don't apply for the job!  You have no business being there!  If you desperately need the money, time to adjust your attitude and get over yourself!


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Ruby said...

I don't think that good service is extinct but it is frustrating when people whose job is to give customer service are the ones who seem to lack the trait. It is bad to make people wait too much because time is always valuable. Always consider that the customers might be in a rush and in the event that you don't attend to them they tend to leave. It is also disrespectful to set people aside to do your own personal stuff. They should do that during their break time not while on duty.

Ruby Chelmsford

That Chick Krys said...
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