More and more, I am witnessing how poor customer service is all over town .
I’ve been in hospitality and management over the course of 10+ years. I have gained a load of experience in understanding how people operate and proper customer service etiquette. Sadly, as the days, months and years go on, I see it progressively getting worse everywhere.
People seem to care less. Including higher management in several companies. Even industries where you expect top notch service, or at least subpar, has dwindled. For example, if I were to go to a hospitality environment such as a restaurant or hotel, you expect satisfactory customer service.
This may vary depending on the restaurant or hotel, but regardless you know that a big part of the employees’ job is to provide good customer service.
Recently, I went to a restaurant in downtown Tampa and had a horrible customer service experience that I’ve never gone back again. I brought my laptop to do some work on my lunch break, knowing fully well they have wifi. I’ve been to this place several times.
When I approached the lady at the register and placed my food order, I asked her for the wifi password. In which she responded that she didn’t know what it was, with a blank stare. I then asked if she could find out what the password was for me. She saw that I had my laptop with me. She shrugged her shoulders and said I don’t know if anyone here knows. I thought, that’s your response back to a customer?
I respond saying, “so you’re telling me you don’t know what the wifi guest password is and you won’t ask to see if someone else that works here would know for me?” She shrugged her shoulders again and said “I don’t know what it is, will this complete your order?” I was dumbfounded. It rubbed me so strongly in the wrong direction, that I refused to go back again.
Some of these employees, and even their managers now, don’t seem to care about their customers like they used to. Not to say it’s like this everywhere, but it appears that the effort in providing simple gratification doesn’t exist like it used to.
Another restaurant I went to for dinner recently in St. Petersburg had a very stressed out waiter. I’m not sure if it was because they were busy, they were short staffed or personal issues. Regardless, he did not hide anywhere on his face or in his attitude that something was going on with him. When I asked him if I could order some hot Thai tea, he responded with an attitude that it’ll probably take 30 minutes.
30 minutes for hot tea? He informed me that they were very busy and he is the only one making it, so maybe I should order something else. I thought that was quite absurd to tell a customer they had to wait 30 minutes for hot tea or they should order something else that’s easier because he’s too busy. Needless to say, he brought it out 10-15 minutes later after I said a few of my thoughts on that.
Perhaps this is due to economy and budget changes over the year. Either way, if you are in the hospitality industry and do not like dealing with people, then you should look for another job that is more suitable for you. As I always say, life is too short. You should be happy with your career, and folks should be able to have a good experience in an establishment where they are paying for the services.
“The customer’s perception is your reality.” – Kate Zabriskie