What’s up with customer service?

Recently, I walked out of a major national restaurant chain because of such bad service. This restaurant has been a favorite place of mine since college! I don't see myself going back though. I left a 'tip' when I checked in on Foursquare.

A friend tweeted today about being dismissed after she politely told the representative that she had received bad service at a car rental company. Yes, she tagged the company in her tweet.

And last week, a dermatologist gave another friend all the answers to her concerns before she could even tell him what was wrong!  She was happy to share with all her friends on Facebook to not visit him.


Photo from sxc.hu/

For more than a decade, I successfully worked in customer service industry: a customer service representative/supervisor at various retail stores, a phone service representative at a call center, and a store manager for a trendy national retail store. I may not be "the" expert, but I have some experience under my belt. And I will say, I would be even more aggressive in delivering a great service in today's world of 'sharing' on social media outlets.

There are two simple parts to great customer service when things have gone wrong:

  • Listen to the customer. There can be a variety of reasons why they are so upset. It doesn't matter. Let the customer tell you what is not right in their situation. Don't even try to give them a solution until they have been heard completely. I'm not in any way suggesting letting a customer curse at you or threaten you. There is a line.
  • Do the right thing. Yes, we know 'corporate' has rules. But when you know your establishment has made a mistake, fix it! Don't leave at the end of the day knowing you could have done more. Again, I am not suggesting to give away the farm, just fix it even if they aren't asking you to.

Now let me tell you about a great service example. My husband has a favorite restaurant that he has been going to for years. No matter what time of the day he walks in, every employee who sees him, greets him. (They actually do this for everyone.) He doesn't love it just because they are nice; they deliver a quality product consistently and they prices are reasonable.

Now, some tips on delivering great service every day:

  • Genuinely acknowledge you customers.
  • Ask and listen for you customers needs.
  • Honor your word (or your company's word).
  • Deliver/sell/make quality products.
  • Thank your customers. Even if they don't buy anything.
  • Train and take care of your employees that are taking care of your customers.

Where do you shop or don't shop because of the customer service?

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