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“Customer Service” - the belief that every person walking in through the door of the store needs to be treated as vital to the financial life blood of that business. When did it become “Customer To Be Tolerated Or Ignored?”

Why have customers seemingly become a nuisance to many businesses? Some of their employees are projecting an arrogant attitude of “Excuse me, but you are bothering me.” Do the owner(s) of those establishments even realize that their customers are being treated badly?

Here are a few actual situations that are not understandable or tolerable.

Watching two or more employees huddle together talking or laughing quietly on their cell phones. While their customers are patiently – or impatiently – waiting to be acknowledged. Or, being the hungry stomach who walks into a restaurant only to be ignored by the hostess/host for a little while. Until all their personal issues of the moment are satisfactorily addressed, I guess.

It is a real fact that you can approach an employee on the floor of a hardware store and inquire about the location of a certain item, and be the proud recipient of a blank stare and a disinterested monotone, “I dunno.” And then watch that employee turn his back and return to his cell phone.

Yes, I do realize there are countless businesses that are under-staffed and having trouble meeting the needs of their customers. That is understandable. An over-worked waitress or waiter cannot be everywhere at once. A bank teller cannot do that job and cover for three missing co-workers too.

But employees need to remember that customers are the only reason their employers can pay them. And treating customers with disdain, ignoring them, or making them feel unwanted – that is almost a guarantee that the feet that carried an individual in the front door of that business will usually never carry them back in again.

A man called his local pharmacy to see why a refill on his prescription has been delayed for nearly a week and counting. He was greeted by an automated voice that kept him answering questions for a few minutes, before it finally let him speak to a real human. A real human who seems to be quite annoyed that his work day is being disrupted by the man’s phone call. After rehearsing his issue one more time to this owner of an actual beating heart, he was then asked,

“Didn’t the automated call service notify you that you will have to call your doctor to have this refill authorized?”

“No, my phone ID has nothing listed of any call from this pharmacy – human or non-human.”

Then he heard a crisp, “Huh! Sorry ‘bout that.” Followed by a click in his ear as the phone connection was broken.

Speaking of broken. Houston, we definitely seem to have a problem.



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