Recently, I have been exposed to both excellent and absolutely appalling customer service. The latter having happened only yesterday.
It made me ask myself “what has happened to customer service in this country?”
Now I can only really speak for the UK but it was made more apparent when I received excellent service in Florida, only a few weeks ago.
I’ll start with the ‘poor’ experience, as I always like to end on a positive note…
…so, yesterday I made a phone call to my local hospital to discuss an appointment that I had cancelled, only to be told that I hadn’t cancelled it, but just hadn’t turned up…this in itself was not a great start.
The lady on the other end of the phone was very abrupt and accusing when speaking to me. She had no intention of listening to what I had to say. She assumed I had not shown up and wasn’t prepared to be convinced otherwise. As you can imagine, this did not impress me.
After constantly being interrupted, I asked her to let me speak. She was not very happy to be told to basically “shut up” in a polite manner.
On finally being able to explain and tell her that I had indeed cancelled the appointment through the reminder text I had received from the NHS. The text gives you a cancellation number to call and a reference number.
What came out of her mouth next just got my back up even more. Rather than apologise, or suggest that the message hadn’t reached her or her colleague…she proceeded to tell me that she had no idea what messaging service I was talking about or what number I rang.
Already riled, I asked why a message service was being used if no-one knew about it and how it was possible for a number and reference to be given which was (according to her) unrelated to the department in question.
And this is my biggest issue with customer service today. I don’t want you to pass the buck, I don’t want to hear excuses. I want a solution; I’m after a reasonable explanation and to be told that something will be sorted…maybe it’s me, after all, I do have high standards when it comes to this sort of thing. I am a customer service ‘snob’.
This takes me to the positive. The excellent customer service I received whilst on holiday in Florida.
Everywhere my family and I went, we were amazed at how good the service was. From waiters, guides, retail staff, car park staff. You name them, they were happy to help.
No problem was too big or too small for them to deal with. From the minute we arrived at the airport to the minute we got on the plane home, we were made to feel like we were human beings being dealt with by other human beings. It all leads to me to wonder why this country struggles so much to care about the experiences they provide others. Why have we become so miserable and so self-absorbed that we no longer give a damn about our work, or the impression we leave people with ourselves?
When did customer service not care for anything?
Why did ‘money’ become the be all and end all?
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