What Has Happened to Customer Service?

I may be showing my age here, but years ago, when I started working in retail, the ole adage was the customer is always right. Every business lived by that motto or at least tried. Now, I do not necessarily think that is 100% correct. No matter what era or generation, there is always someone trying to pull a fast one over you, but most people are reasonable and fair.  

Fast forward to 2022. Customer service seems to have disappeared. In addition to customer service, people have just become downright rude. Customer service and peoples temperament have been eroding for many years, but it seems COVID has brought out the worst in people.

I was on vacation at the beginning of the month. The last half was very relaxing and enjoyable, but it did not start that way. My vacation started three days late. I will not get into all the details but give a little snippet. It took three days to fly from Arizona to Florida. Yes, the weather had a little to do with it, but that was not the only reason for my delay. The airline was at fault for the rest of the delays. Instead of postponing or rerouting they just simply canceled my flight. Twice! The third time I was on board a plane, only to have the flight canceled because the co-pilot didn’t make the flight.  

In all the cancelations, the airline and its representatives never apologized, showed sympathy or showed any compassion to the thousands of travelers they affected. I have traveled for years and never experienced what I experienced on that trip. I know things happen, but it’s how a company handles situations that makes all the difference. Twice, I waited in a customer service line. The first time 2 hours; the second time for 3 hours. Instead of offering chairs for the elderly, water, and snacks for those of us patiently waiting, the airport had police patrol the line.  

You see, you do not need to do anything extravagant to please your customers. It’s just a little touches to let your customers know you care. Acknowledging their frustration, understanding their situation, offering water or coffee, and having special services to cater to your elderly clients. DO SOMETHING to show that a company cares and understands, whatever the inconvenient situation is.

It does not even have to be a customer service issue thing. Just do a little something extra for your customers to show you appreciate them. The littlest gesture to show you appreciate your clients goes a long way.

We at On The Level Marketing practice that philosophy and appreciate our clients and their business. One of the many ways we give back to our clients is we feature them on our websites partner page. When you click on their logo it will take you to their website. We do other things, too, that show appreciation. You see, if you provide good customer service clients may not share that on social media, but they will talk about your service to their trusted friends. When you don’t provide good customer service, all it takes is one, just one, social media post, and soon millions will hear how horrible your service was.  

Corporate America has lost its compassion for its customers. They do not care much about anything anymore except filling the pockets of those sitting at the top. It’s the small, local businesses that will do what’s right for the client because they TRULY want your business.  

So the next time you order something from a big-box retailer or that online store, you know the one, pause and think, is there someone local I can bu this from?  

Geoff Cummings is President of On The Level Marketing & Consulting, LLC. Successfully helping businesses with their marketing needs by branding their business and keeping marketing straightforward. 

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