I went to a fast food chain for dinner with my six year old son this evening, and for legality purposes, the name of the restaurant will be withheld. My son found a table in the dining room next to the TV- unfortunately it was playing some eerie TV show about haunted houses, and because I did not want my son to be exposed to that type of show, I asked the Cashier personnel over the counter if she could change the channel. She stated she wouldn't change it because they keep it only on one channel, and other people may be watching it-and "they" don't want to upset anyone. Well, we were the only people there! I basically made a stink about it, and ONLY after that did she change the channel. But what made it worse was the fact that she made me feel like I was inconveniencing HER after I made the original request!
OK, her point about changing the channel not to upset other customers-I get. But there were two things wrong. First, the only appropriate TV content to have in a restaurant should be the news and sports. And second, no one else was in the dining room. We were watching something completely inappropriate for a family restaurant. And for my son to be exposed to that type of content is irresponsible of them. But the fact that she would not change the channel is just exercising horrible customer service.
But this was not the first time I had horrible customer service from this restaurant corporation. A year back, I emailed a comment to the District Manager about the slow and rude service for a particular location, and the horrible food quality. Another time, I took a picture of the brown and wilted lettuce for my chicken sandwich and sent it to him. Not one reply! It just seems that they can care less. I am only one of millions of people who frequent their establishments every day from around the world. So what is one less I guess? But if you think about it, If I spend $100 dollars per year on this restaurant establishment, that could be over several thousand dollars in my lifetime. But if everyone decided to stop dining there -EVER AGAIN-just like I did, multiply that by a million, that total dollar count could put that company out of business.
Customers are the life blood of any business. They should be honored that we are patrons of their business because without customers, they would not be in business. I am not saying that we can do, ask, and receive anything we want just because we are paying customers. There are rules of business etiquette to abide by, but businesses should try to please the customer in any way they possibly can-especially in this economic climate. In today's economy, several restaurant chains have mostly become commoditized, and customer service is one of the major ways to distinguish themselves from the competition. And by being treated the way I was tonight, I have vowed to never dine at that restaurant chain ever again - despite the fact that they provide (most of the time) delicious food and great value.
This is only a few examples of horrible customer service I have received this week. It just seems the practice of customer service is gone, or at least hibernating. I understand people are stressed out due to the current economic times, but this is time when people or companies need to step up the level of customer service. In my line of business, customer service is my livelihood, without it, I make no money to provide for my family. I do anything and everything to make my customers happy. They say jump, and I break out the trampoline. I may not like it all the time, but this is my choice of profession. If I don't like dealing with customer service, I need to find another job.
When it comes down to it, in this economy, we need customer service now more than ever if a company is to thrive. People will conduct business with people or organizations that they like. If people are a@#holes, people won't conduct business with them-bottomline.