Is Customer Service Getting Worse? [OPINION]
After three bad experiences in a week, I'm starting to wonder.
Let me start by saying this: I've worked retail, and I've worked at a zoo, picking up garbage. I have never been a waitress, so this is a "world" that I, admittedly, don't fully understand. What I do understand, however, is karma. You get back what you give in this world, and from my own experiences working in customer service, you get more bees with honey. I try to treat people the way I'd like to be treated.
I'll give people a pass for almost anything - I just assume that you're having a bad day, maybe you didn't get enough sleep, your cat died, etc. We can't all be 100% all the time, and customers can be unruly and cruel sometimes. But twice in the last three days, I've had bad customer service experiences, and I'm starting to question it.
Last Tuesday, my Crim training group went out after our run to celebrate. We went to a local restaurant that has a very good reputation; I've been there before and enjoyed it. There were several other training groups in there when we arrived, and one of the two waitresses looked flustered. She pushed two tables together...and then left. She never even came back to get our drink order. About 30 minutes later, another waitress came up to us and said, "I'm so sorry. The other waitress just threw her hands in the air and said, 'I'm not doing this.' So I'll be taking your order." She was running around like a chicken with her head cut off, poor thing. I felt awful for her. The service took another hour, and I ended up having to leave before my food came.
On Sunday, Pat and I were in Detroit and wanted to grab breakfast before we came home. We stopped at a brunch place, and we expected there to be a wait. Lots of people milling about outside. We walked in, stood behind a couple who had their name put on the list, and then it was our turn. As we stepped up, the host turned around and walked away. He then came back, grabbed some menus...and walked away again. He came back again, talked to a waitress, walked away...and never came back. We realized that we were invisible at that point and left. Okay, maybe he's flustered and having a bad morning.
Then, last night, my friend and I went out to dinner in Oakland County. She's visiting from Milwaukee. Service was great, food was amazing...until we were done eating. As soon as we finished dinner, our waitress disappeared. We thought maybe they were going through a shift change (does that happen mid-dinner? I doubt it, but again, I wouldn't know). My friend was looking to order another drink, and the waitress never returned. So she went to the bar and grabbed one. Our waitress came back an hour later with our bill, and didn't look happy. My friend again wanted to order a drink, and she never returned. We thought, "Did we do something to make her mad? I thought we were a pretty easy table." I docked her tip a bit, and I felt bad about it. But it was very odd. She really did just...disappear.
I've been called every name in the book at my customer service jobs. I was berated for not refunding WORN PANTIES when I worked at Victoria's Secret. I was called a "worthless b****" while I was picking up cigarette butts at the zoo. I've seen it all. I've never called anybody a name like that, because I know how it feels. But it seems like being nice isn't working, either!
I just read this article called Maybe You Get Bad Customer Service Because You're A Bad Customer. Am I a selfish, obnoxious bully, as the article implies? I hope not. But is it really too much to ask for decent, sub-par customer service nowadays?
You get what you give, and apparently, my lenient attitude isn't doing me any favors anymore.