Customer Service is Dead
I can’t work out if customer service is dead, or never existed.
I’ve always been under the impression, if you work in a shop, restaurant etc, you are paid to serve and help customers and not stand looking gormless and ask someone 6 times what latte they wanted.
Yesterday I went out for some lunch at a Harvester. Now I know Harvester is going to be busy on a Saturday because the people of Basildon will descend on a free salad bar like the plague of locusts descended on Egypt. I appreciate it’s busy, but having to flag down the waitress after 20 minutes of waiting like we were hitching a ride is completely unacceptable.
Did she apologise? Obv not.
‘Do you want drinks as well?’
Noooooo, we were planning on drinking from the toilet, thanks for asking though.
‘2 Harvester fried chickens…is that it?’
Nooooo the other 6 invisible people we are with want a couple of Harvester Burgers as well. Dick.
We moan about countries that harass us in markets, like Turkey, but we really could take a leaf out of their book, one time when I was in Turkey. one of the restaurants picked us up, and gave us discount and free cocktails because we agreed to eat there. Fair enough, the car was a Lada and it was touch and go if we would make the 5 minute journey alive, but it was a lovely thought.
In the Philippines, if you go into a shop they won’t even let you to up your own pay as you go phone. They politely ask for your number and do it for you. If you requested this in Essex the shop assistant would no doubt look at you like you have just pissed on them.
Shops in England may as well be self service for the amount of help you get. Today I went to Barleylands Farm Shop, which I am a usually a huge fan of, because if you can’t enjoy picking up a cheap bunch of Asparagus at 25 then really what do you have to live for.
The shop itself has a beautiful floor plan which means you effectively have to queue to look at things, and feel the type of rushed you feel when your bundling a bloke out of your flat patio doors on the sly. I panic if I don’t have time to look at things. I mean, what if I picked up what I thought was a jar of jalapenos and it ended up being olives? what would I do? who would I turn to?
The reason, for this queue that is shop long and should have some sort of vendor selling pretzels halfway through, is due to the thoroughly inept serving skills of the staff. Not sure what the hold up was, we got to the tills to find one staff member chatting to a couple about someone who used to work there, weighing their salad with the speed of a slow motion action sequence, another staff member letting people blatantly push in the queue, and the last staff member, letting a woman pay for £20 worth of shopping with 2’s and 1’s.
I know times are hard, but with a queue of 37 you really would ask someone to get rid of their change somewhere else.
So after we had waited all this time to get to the till, did said shop assistant apologise for our wait and serve us as quickly as possible?
Of course not. She stood, with a large queue of people, opened the till for one of her colleagues who worked in the outdoor bit, and changed up some if his money for him.
I had to exit before I uttered the ‘C’ word in front of a child.