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Where is Customer Service Hiding?

25 Mar 2010

Is it hiding or is it dead?  Where has customer service gone?  At some point providing good customer service was part of almost every companies Customer Value Proposition now it seems as though it is a drain on profits and should be avoided.  Customer service will not be tolerated and attempting to offer good service will be grounds for termination… or so it seems.

Self service is the new rage.  I can walk into a lot of stores now, shop, check myself out, bag my purchases and all of this without speaking with any single person who represents the company.  I need to say “Thank you self for shopping here.”  It’s so impersonal, perfect for the person with Anthropophobia or Glossophobia, but for everyone else it just implies how little they care about you.  I know it’s all about the money.

When I was in Manhattan years ago with the Family (my mom, dad and siblings) we went into a McDonalds.  It was a busy place and the lines were long.  When the person in front of us got up to order and was asked “What do you want?”  the customer replied “Let me see here…”  The order taker blasted him back with “What?  Can’t you see?  You have stood in line for a while, you should know what you want!”  Wow what crappy service, it was a rare event at that point in my life to experience such an exchange.  But over time that attitude leaked out of that McDonalds in New York City and like cancer has spread across the United States.  It has even evolved from crappy service to no service.  I guess it just costs less to not to offer it.

When I do get to talk with a person it is amazing at how little they know and very clear that I’m interrupting them.  I usually walk away from it realizing their attitude was correct, it was a complete waste of my time.  It would be nice if it wasn’t that way and good customer service was recognized as an important part of conducting business.

This video is not on customer service, or how to be nice.  It does a great job of portraying how I see what customer service has become… The video is by BBC Worldwide.  I’m sure you have had a few conversations that are as senseless as this one is…

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