Now that I have your attention, we can get down to business.
Your business sucks. It sucks rotten eggs.
Because of the (bad) assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services. In other words: Customer Service. This definition was gladly provided by Merriam-Webster, in case you were wondering.
This past weekend my family and I drove a twelve hour round trip to Atlanta, then back to Florida.
On the way there, and on the way back we encountered the worst type of Customer Service. It was so bad I had to write about it.
Now let me make myself clear, I work in Customer Service. Day in, day out, Helping my Clients is my number one priority. If I don’t do my job, then I don’t have a job. End of story.
But some companies don’t care about customer service, and continue to hire rotten egg people who don’t give a hoot about giving you customer service either. I could name a few (a cable company here in Florida we use as our internet provider, what a joke!)
But, I want to discuss the vital necessity of good Customer Service. Because your business is either hinged on good service, or eventually you will lose business. If you lose business, then you go out of business eventually. If you go out of business, it’s not like us Consumers will be missing your sucky service. After all, there are other companies out there swooning the customers and good at it.
Just a side note: the only way companies stay in business even with bad Customer Service, is because they have a monopoly on the market and no new competition. Like our sucky internet provider.
You get the picture.
So my husband and I stopped at a restaurant in a small town outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Not just any restaurant. A main, down home, country cooking one that is nation-wide. I prefer IHOP, but this was the only one we could find.
We were seated pretty fast, but the waitress took forever it seemed to come to our table. We just wanted coffee, and our four year old just needed something cold to drink to pacify him until the food came. (The food was another horror story, but not worth mentioning in this blog)
During the hour we were there: we waited eons to get our food. When she delivered the food, she didn’t bring silverware. My husband had to go find her to get silverware. When he saw her grab the silverware, then she walked away to another table and started talking to them instead of bringing us utensils.
In our eyes, it looked as if she had the gift of gab more than she did doing her job. To make matters worse, she walked away with our silverware and disappeared.
My husband walked across the restaurant to find her again, asking her to give us our silverware. Then after that, she disappeared. No coffee refills. No drink refills. Nothing.
The food sucked. The service sucked. She sucked. As customers, and consumers, because of the bad service: in our mind, that restaurant sucked.
We left before we finished our food, which was cold by the time we found her to get silverware. We did not give her a tip, and complained to the cashier. The cashier wanted us to wait to talk to a manager, but we were so exhausted with a fussy toddler we refused.
We left unhappy customers. We spent money at that establishment, and to the very least that restaurant should have had the decency to make sure they hired competent help. I also felt bad for other customers traveling through that could only find that restaurant on the way south.
Again, if you are a business with bad customer service….
This is a prime example of having a monopoly on the market, giving bad service, yet still making money because there are no other options to the consumers.
Another thing that makes or breaks a business: First Impressions. The definition of First Impressions is as follows:
In psychology, a first impression is the event when one person first encounters another person and forms a mental image of that person. Impression accuracy varies depending on the observer and the target (person, object, scene, etc.) being observed.
Dear waitress and restaurant: Your first impression sucked. Your food sucked. The service was atrocious.
Consumers are tired of bad customer service. We pay for a service, and expect to get that service. It’s not just this experience we had this past weekend, it is everywhere. First impressions make the difference between a waitress getting a tip, or that restaurant getting a repeat customer.
Same goes for a bank. A car dealership. A grocery store. The list goes on and on.
Businesses succeed on service. Perhaps the product is good enough a business doesn’t need service. But in this day and age where people work hard for their money, and expect to get a refill on coffee during a twelve hour round trip….
Service is everything.