Customer service in this country is a joke. It’s something we’ve most likely all experienced, and the saddest part is that it’s been like this ever since I started to understand the concept of customer service. I don’t know about you, but I am not okay with it!
We all need to understand that having any job comes with delivering a great service to every customer we interact with. For those of us who have jobs where we work with people, we should know to give our customers the best service we possibly can. With every interaction with a customer, we are representing the people and companies we work for. So, when you come by my workplace, that’s what you’ll get - great service - and so I expect the same when I walk into any establishment, and I don’t think that is too much to ask for. You’re a hypocrite if you expect service with a smile from the lady at the supermarket but when someone walks into your workplace, you are rude and unfriendly.
Everyone is going through something, especially right now: people are losing loved ones, losing jobs, getting sick and living in fear. We don’t need a bad customer service experience to add to that list, triggering or worsening our day in any way. With everything we are going through, the least you can do is to be nice or to do your job when a customer walks into your establishment, especially because they’re willing to spend their hard-earned cash there. Nobody wants to deal with a rude person; like one who won’t give you the time of day, especially when all you need is for them to do their job so you can be on your way.
I am reading a book titled how to be anti-racist, and the author, Ibram X. Kendi, talks about how anti-racist policies help eliminate racism in institutions, and the lack of diverse policies are to blame for many of the inequalities faced by a POC (Person of Colour) in his country. He says too many people look at racism at the ground level, and we should be focusing at the top, because no person would be comfortable behaving in that way if there were stronger policies in place against that type of behaviour. I use this example because that’s exactly who we need to be looking at here; we need to look at the leaders of these establishments. What have they done, and what are they doing to improve the customer experience in their establishments? It will take them to train their employees, to stress the importance of serving your customers with a smile, and the old adage - the customer is always right.
Our business leaders need to realise how bad a name one employee’s service can give your establishment. I can steer clear of your business because of one person’s nasty attitude, sometimes even long after that person left the position or company. I can’t stress enough the importance of giving our people customer service training. It’s something we really need to start investing in as a nation. There are only but a few businesses and places you can go to where people make you feel welcome and comfortable, and where people are willing to help serve you, and I applaud whatever internal mechanism these establishments have put in place.
I, the customer, am there by choice. You, the employee, have to be there; you can’t be mad at me for that. Be Nice, Say Hello, and serve me with a smile, otherwise get a job where you don’t have to work with people. Problem solved!
Paula Christoph’s column concentrates on positive and inspirational write-ups every second Friday in the New Era newspaper.