Going under the wheels

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Logic would seem to show customer service improves as the economy spins down. Shouldn’t people do all they can to keep the customers they have, and gain new ones?

For the most part, many retail establishments offer excellent customer service. I hear “thank you” and “have a great day” much more often.

But for some reason, I don’t notice from waitstaff. Is it because there is someone else to blame?

Through high school and college, I worked at three restaurants and a movie theatre café. I have both front and back-of-the-house experience. It was great training for public/community relations. You learn teamwork, thinking on your feet, planning. (Look at the menu and think about how your server plans for the customer experience). And you develop strategies to defuse angry customers.

But too often lately, the only strategy I see  – blame someone else. Food slow coming out? Blame the cook. Didn’t get your order right? Well, that’s what so-and-so told me was on it. Um, as the customer, you are who I get to see and talk to. You are who needs to make it right. End of story.

Don’t immediately throw your colleague under the bus. That’s the only thing more annoying than bad service.

Food servers aren’t the only offender. Think about the last time you talked to someone about a concern. Maybe it was someone in your own workplace. What was their “go to” answer? If it began with “so-and-so didn’t” or “so and so was in charge that day” ask yourself if that’s a person you want on your team.


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