Bad customer service drives me bonkers.

January 15, 2009 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

Have you ever quit going somewhere because of poor customer service?

I love the food at Cinnamon’s Deli, but I will probably stop going there because their customer service is so lacking.  I don’t think I’ve ever received a “how are you?” or even a “what can I get for you?” from any of their staff, either east or west.  Most of the time, all I get is a mumbled total and a lackadaisical thank you when I pick my food up at the counter.  Drives me bananas.

I also love Panera, and I generally don’t have many problems with the staff there.  There is one man, however, who works a register during the lunch rush.  He acts like he is soooo over working there.  I’ve never seen him smile, and he rarely says much more than my total.  Invariably, he’s the person I get when I’m waiting in line.  I’m almost tempted sometimes to wait for someone else’s register to open up so I don’t have to deal with his negativity.

The problem for most of these restaurants is that staff members like these can drive customers away, and the company will never know why those customers have been lost.  Sure, customer attrition is a natural part of the retail process; people move, or make life changes, or just choose to patronize a new place all the time.  Still, retailers need to constantly train their staff to get out of their comfort zones, even if stepping out of their comfort zone only involves a friendly hello and a smile.

It’s not just restaurants, either.  I quit going to a nail salon because my nail technician whipped out her cell phone and started texting in the middle of my pedicure.  Seriously, what was so important that it couldn’t wait until my nails were painted and drying?

I loved working retail.  In college I worked at Barnes & Noble for a summer, then at Hastings Books Music & Video in Lawrence for a year.  I always tried to greet customers warmly.  I strived to conduct their transactions as quickly as possible.  I’m good at retail, if only because I understand that a) customers don’t care if I’m having a bad day and b) most customers aren’t looking for more than a warm greeting and a fast transaction so they can be on their way.

I’m tempted to write a letter to the management staff at Panera, expressing my disappointment with this employee.  Then again, maybe I’ll just start going to another one.

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Entry filed under: Life in general.

I'm controlling even in my sleep. Mothers should come with an extra hand.

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