What happened to "Customer Service"??

  1. Did we overuse the word and lessen it's meaning?

    Remember the day when you'd go through a drive-thru and the food was "fast"? Remember when you'd return an item to a store and had no problem? Remember when you could get through a bank line in 5 minutes?? Remember when the waiter/waitress brought your food in a timely manner and your glass was never empty? Remember when EVERYONE said, "thank you, come back soon!"???

    Went to the bank yesterday. SIX tellers behind the counter, five customers in line in front of me. Forty-five minutes. Why? Because two of them were doing something on their computer instead of waiting on customers (on allnurses, maybe??). One was loading paper in her register and had obviously never done it before. She looked like she was drugged, she was going so slow. She was loading it when I walked in...she was cutting the edge with her scissors when i left..hadn't even began placing it into the machine.

    What happened to customer service???
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. by   WashYaHands
    Some places have replaced the term, "customer service" with "customer care".

    I agree with you, attentive service to the customer is rare anymore.

    Linda
  4. by   night owl
    Tracy,
    Maybe you should have told her, "Here, this'll speed you up!"

  5. by   sphinx
    what gets me is when you are shopping, (grocery, wal mart, etc) and the person at the checkout just rings you in like an automaton, eyes blank, not even really folding your clothes/overloading your grocery bags. She usually doesn't speak: not to say hello, how are you, not even to tell you your total or say have a nice day. When I get a cashier who speaks, or better yet smiles and engages in friendly conversation, I am elated! The others, I will say hello, etc.....and they just grunt. "unh". I mean, geezz!!!!!
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Customer service went the way of the dial telephone, the LIVE person who actually answered the phone of a business to help you, and home visits by family doctors. Fuggedaboudit.

    Ha, you would think with times so tough and jobs and competition for business and income so stiff it would NOT be so hard to get a bit of decent service. ......but not. I am disgusted, discouraged and sick of it and will do anything I can to conduct my business online so as to avoid these so called customer service areas and the associated aggravation. It's gotten so I am actually GRATEFUL when someone does his/her JOB for a change. Blah.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Apr 23, '03
  7. by   jnette
    hmmmmm.. I have to think a lot of it might be geographical.. depends where you are.

    One of the reasons I love this area where I live. Economically depressed, yes, but people are still VERY friendly, even in the banks, dept. stores, even the DMV ! One is treated as a person here still.. real conversation, look you in the eye.. and the smiles are plentiful and genuine !

    I've seen otherwise in other areas, though, and DON'T like it one bit ! Sad, to be sure.
  8. by   kitty=^..^=cat
    I really miss getting gas at a service stations that have "service" with the window wash and the oil check...
  9. by   aimeee
    How about endless phone menus, none of which get you to an actual living breathing person at the other end? If you are lucky, you may get into someone's voice mail. Or after navigating several menu choices, you finally get the hold message "your call is important to us, please continue to hold." If it is so important, why don't you hire enough people to answer your phones!!!!
  10. by   TheLionessRN
    I hate to turn this into a north south debate, so I will instead sing the virtues of small towns. I work in a small ER in a small hospital in a small town. There is one place that delivers food and I placed a call there tonight. The man who answered the phone not only took the order cheerfully, he told me he would be the one to deliver the food, he hoped my sore throat got better cause he could tell I was hoarse, and he would see me in a little while. It made me smile and you can bet he got a good tip!
  11. by   kids
    I completely understand about cruddy customer service.
    My *favorite* stores are ones with employees who have personalities...they talk, smile, make eye contact, bag my items "respectfully" and actually don't seem to mind being at work and interacting with people. I know we pay more for groceries, I quit shopping at the "cheaper stores" when it dawned on me that I was spending my hard earned money to be ignored to the point of rudeness.
    I really don't enjoy shopping, it is painful and spending money stresses me out, as silly as it seems I have found that the cashier or sales person's mood (rude or friendly) has a direct effect on mine.

    btw...both of the Walmarts in my town have the nicest people but I wouldn't set foot in Target if they were giving away free stuff.
  12. by   NICU_Nurse
    I often take my business to small, privately-owned stores whenever possible. The service just does not compare. People who are personally invested in their business just KNOW how to treat a customer (most of the time- and those who don't won't get my money, plain and simple).

    I hardly ever get 'fast' food anymore.

    Hubster wanted Popeye's Chicken. We go to the drive-thru, place our order, pay for it, and are told to pull over to the side, in another parking lot (theirs isn't big enough), to wait. We wait 20 MINUTES, they finally come out, and the've not only messed up our order but forgotten the BBQ sauce (which hubby HAS to have or the world will end), which we'd sked for nicely TWICE during our time at the speaker and window. I tell the this, they snort and say, rolling their eyes, to drive through the ine again. Umm, no thanks! I ALREADY waited 20 minutes! There were three other cars waiting by me, and three in line. No way, buddy.

    I went to McDonald's on the way to work to get a salad, since they had that new menu (never ate there much before) item. I order, pay, and am asked again to pull over to the side. In ten minuted, there are FIVE MORE CARS out there with me, all waiting. We were all crammed off to the side, no one could move their car. We were all just looking at each other, fuming. I finally (after I was going to be late for work, thank you) go inside and say, nice as can be, "Can I please get my salad? I've been waiting for 17 minutes and am now going to be late for work. There are five other cars out there with me, all waiting for items that weren't ready." They look at me and hand me my bag, which had been sitting on the counter for gosh knows how long. I just about lost it. I mean, really, come on!!! I am not a hostile person, but I felt VIOLENT.

    Okay, so this is more about the 'fast' part of fast food, but it's customer service all the same. ;>)

    Now, to the other end, I went to Barnes and Noble (go there ALL the time) a few weeks (like, three) ago and the clerk who checked me out was the nicest guy I'd ever met!!! He was super friendly, and was nice to all the people in front of me in line. When I checked out, he made a comment about my book choices, and the fact that I spent a nice chunk of money on a big pile of books. My husband had gone outside as he has the attention span of a gnat, so he missed it all. Really sweet guy. Three weeks later (the other day), we went back to the book store. The same guy was there to check us out, and he actually remembered me, remembered the book I got, asked me if I'd liked it, called me by name (okay, he said it a little wrong, but there was NO way he could have known this because I paid with cash, but he somehow managed to remember this, which amazed me). My husband, who for once was present, stared at me in shock. We walked out and DH was like, "Whoa, he was SO flirting with you! I'm jealous!" and I was like, "No, sweetie, he's just a really good employee." And I mean that. I think I'm going to send a note to the bookstore, now that I think of it. It's so rare around here to get good service. People need to know they're appreciated (like me...someone appreciate me!!!).

    My husband and I always notice how, when we cross the state line, everyone changes, so I fear it is just my home state. Everytime we're in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida...he always comments about the vast difference in the way people treat you.
  13. by   Tilleycs
    I can relate to some of these, although I don't believe for a second that things always USED to be perfect.

    One of our (my girlfriend and I) pet peeves is when stores like Wal-Mart have something like 36 registers (literally), but only four are open (and one usually has their light blinking because they're waiting on a manager), and the line at each register is LONG.

    Ditto for the post office - five spaces for workers, but usually only two are there...and one of them is usually dealing with someone who needs to get a money order that's good in Zimbabwe.

    I also hate it when I call with a question that I KNOW I need a human being to answer, but the automated menus don't even give you an OPTION to connect to one!

    But, I've also realized that sometimes our expectations, as a society, can get unrealistic. Like at McDonald's - we want our food cheap and we want it FAST...from people who make $6 an hour. Most of the time, you get what you pay for. Needless to say, we almost NEVER eat fast food. Amazing that we're in such a hurry to put something so bad into our systems, no?
  14. by   ShortFuse_LPN
    My hubby and kids are always staring at the person working in the drive thru window if I am driving when we go to Mc Donald's. Why you ask? If the person doesn't say "Thanks" or "Have a nice day" or something I will sit there, knock on the window if I have to, just to say (rather sarcastically at times)..."Thanks, you have a great day!"


    I have also found that on the phone menus, when it asks if you are calling from a touchtone phone to press 1, if you don't press anything you will usually get a real live person.

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