Customer service? What customer service?

29 Mar

When is the last time you felt appreciated as a customer at a business? Maybe it was a helpful store manager at your local grocery store or the really nice lady at the drive-thru.  As the wedding planning wraps up, I’ve been noticing a glaring issue with the state of customer service these days. It seems to have become a scarce value in the consumer world. As I’ve chased down and begged some vendors to respond or work with me, it sticks out like a sore thumb that the economy has not really improved our customer service. One would think in a tighter economy, vendors might be more aggressive about treating customers well in order to keep them and get good referrals, but it’s just not the case.

Long before I started my news career, I had to support myself through school. All my first jobs were in the food service and retail industries, so I am a bit more particular about customer service details than most people. Having worked in fast food, fashion retail, and two country clubs, I think I know a thing or two about how to treat people the way you’d like to be treated at a place of business.

Why are there so many mistakes with orders and paperwork, bad attitudes and miscommunication? Maybe a negative impact from economy has a trickle down effect on customer service because many business owners are stressed to get sales and stay afloat.  Excuses aside, when there’s an exchange of money for service, it just seems most business owners would make the extra effort to earn business and make sure they get a good review.

When I was searching for a wedding cake, I asked around and got lots of names. There was one vendor in particular who had a mixed reputation. We really liked her samples, but the mixed reviews on her product and customer care made us mark her off the list.  Long story short, my research and referrals ultimately landed us a  much “sweeter” cake lady with “sweet” cake AND “sweet” prices too. 

Thumbs Up or Down?

So what happens when you have a less than great experience and feel as though the business did nothing to correct it? What about a wonderful experience you want to tell everyone about because you think it’s just THAT great? Same answer: write a review! In this day and age, there are countless sites out there for us to voice our opinions on a vendor, service, restaurant or business. In my opinion, reputation and customer service are almost just as important as price. My favorites are Google, Yelp, and now people are really taking to Pinterest to tell folks all about their favorites.  Do your research before you spend your hard-earned money. Most times, it pays off.

See you in the morning!



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