Customer service takes back seat to revenue

IUS Horizon

A business’ customer service is what ultimately sets the company apart from its competitors. I do not care how good the food is or how cute the shirt is, if I have to deal with a waiter or cashier who obviously wants to be anywhere else instead of earning money pleasantly.

The phrases “he is just not a people person” or “customer service is not her thing” are meaningless to me because I believe everyone has the capability of working with people in a professional and courteous manner.

I get a bad taste in my mouth when quality service is not provided because, in my mind, it should be instinctive to have the desire to help others have a great experience. Regrettably, a lot of people refuse to walk in another’s shoes.

I understand everyone has a bad day or it may be a busy day for them, so I always try and give the one providing not-so-quality service multiple chances. Unfortunately, the disappointment typically continues throughout my experience.

Taking pride in one’s career is important. I know I am fortunate to have a job I enjoy, especially when decent jobs can be difficult to find at this juncture in the economy. I work in the hospitality industry and the most significant detail of my job is to increase guest satisfaction and maintain their loyalty.

It is imperative that everyone I work with, including myself, must display the best customer service skills out there because it is what separates us from other hotel chains.

I enjoy the customer service I provide being held to a higher standard, but what I do not like is consistently experiencing not just poor, but terrible, customer service from other businesses. Taking care of customers in the best way possible does not just apply to the hospitality industry, but every company is expected to offer quality service to its consumers.

It is more than evident people do not enjoy working with other people on a daily basis, especially if the job involves taking orders or requests from expectant people. In reality, everyone is subject to being the consumer or the service provider at some point in their lives.

Because the economy is never incredibly stable, a lot of individuals are forced to have a job that they cannot stand because it is either a safe option or — what they believe —  is their only option for the moment.

I can understand why someone is not peppy about their job when they have to troubleshoot a customer’s Internet problem over the phone. That job description definitely screams frustration especially if the customer on the other end is unreasonably pissed off.

In fairness, customer service can encompass more than one side. I have been in the position where I have had to just let a situation go and realize I could not make a guest satisfied. I still remain pleasant and professional, but sometimes a genuine smile and apology are not enough.

When a customer refuses help, is overly demanding and behaves ignorantly, I can see why one who is providing service to the customer would feel discouraged and return the negativity. However, it is better to just chalk up the loss and focus on improvement for the next customer.

I think a hefty component of customer service neglect is the result of companies refusing to take the time to hire and train quality employees. Some businesses review customer service as a cost, rather than seeing it as a means to maintain and add new business.

Customer service

Overall, service needs to become a higher priority in every industry including fast food and basic retail. Some companies are becoming more revenue-minded and are starting to neglect the motto “the customer is always right.”

This is not rocket science. If customers are treated well by dedicated employees, there will be more revenue generated from the increase in consumer retention.

It would be incredibly beneficial for companies to make more of an effort to encourage employees to take an active role in improving the products and service provided.

By engaging employees and making them feel like they are essential and valuable in their industry, there will be less disgruntled workers.

Happy employees mean satisfied customers, which equals a profit on every account.

Everyone wants to be understood and to feel like their views and opinions matter. Whether being a customer or someone who provides service to customers, we all want the same thing – to have happy, memorable experiences in life.

By COURTNEY MCKINLEY

Profiles Editor   

comckinl@imail.iu.edu