Where has customer service gone?

Images thanks to Sanderson Arcade

Is it me or has customer service gone out of the window? Whilst poor service is not a new phenomenon, things seem to have got worse since we have started to recover from the pandemic. 

A number of recent incidents have made me question our attitude towards the customer. The first relates to my eldest daughter, who bought a microwave from one of the big supermarkets only to find it was damaged on getting it home. Upon ringing the shop she was told that the ‘only’ thing she could do was to bring it back to the store. No apology, no alternative, the ball was firmly in her court as if it was her fault.

The second happened to me when I visited the Vodafone shop in Morpeth. There were two members of staff, one was serving and there was someone else waiting for service in front of me. The other member of staff asked her what she wanted and, after a brief discussion ,asked if she could wait for his colleague. Then it was my turn. I too was asked to wait for his colleague or to come back as he had paperwork to do. Since when has paperwork been more important than serving a customer? If it is that important then it should be done out of sight or when there are no customers present.

Add to this the interminable wait in a high street chemist while staff go through deliveries and fill the shelves, knowing full well that you are waiting to pay for goods, or the garden services company that takes your call and never rings you back and it all adds up to a depressing trend.

Perhaps people are busy and overstretched. Perhaps COVID has meant that individuals are having to pick up other’s work? Perhaps the rise of online shopping means that customer services is no longer relevant but there is a definite take it or leave it attitude on the high street, not everywhere but in many places.

We wonder why the high street is struggling yet the answer is obvious at times. Such poor service is not helping its cause at all.

Please, if you work in a shop and you see a customer standing there, serve them. If you see someone wanting to pay for goods, take their money. If you say you will ring someone back, do so. You may have other things to do which seem more pressing but at the end of the day, without customers you have nothing.

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