15 Ways To Improve The Customer Experience
There was a time that the service industry reveled in the quality of care extended to their customers. Many companies still pride themselves on how their customers are treated and actively pursue ways to improve the customer experience, even when standards are already high. HOWEVER, there does exist service industry practices that are less than stellar. The shortcomings are unacceptable, intolerable, and down-right undignified.
While excellent service does exist, and on many levels; poor service is nearly as prevalent. The quality of care a customer receives can no longer be secondary to the successful operation and longevity of a company.
As a consumer, I more than appreciate quality service; this may be the same for other consumer’s. However, in my observation, I find that some consumers have developed a level of acceptance for the lack of care and attention that they receive. While the management of a company is obligatory to good employment practices and standards, the employee is not exempt of obligation, and like the employer has a responsibility to maintain themselves with ethics in the workplace.
This article outlines observations of areas that require improvement to the customer experience, and the importance of companies to regularly reiterate standards that have somehow become the exception.
The following list outlines critical areas that are in need of immediate improvement, the customers view and the impact on the customer:
1. Please save the sunflower seeds for break time. We as customers understand the importance of a low calorie snack; however we do not understand being greeted by someone with chewed-up sunflower kernels smashed between their teeth that look like they’ve been chew’n on cotton.
2. Please do not hold a personal conversation with your co-workers while servicing a customer. We as customers understand the importance of camaraderie in the work place; however we do not give a rats booty about Pookie and em’ and what else they done did.
3. Please do not ask “Can I help you?” as if the presence of the customer is disruptive, and assisting the customer is a violation. We as customers understand that anyone can, at times have a disparaging attitude; however we do not understand why you don’t understand that we are in need of your help. While self checkout exists in some cases (grocery stores) we cannot otherwise check ourselves out unless we are in front of a mirror.
4. Please do not chew and pop gum while on duty. We as customers understand the importance of keeping your mouth hydrated; however we do not understand the rotation of your gums like a cow on crack, combined with the ear piercing popping of the gum. We as customers think that choking on gum is not so bad after all.
5. Please do not become defiant with the customer when they make a simple and acceptable request. We as customers understand that at times your job may overwhelm you; however we do not understand why you are up-in-arms because we asked you to double the bag.
6. Please refrain from transferring your personal issues to your customers. We as customers understand that you may have personal matters, but we do not want to be the unintended target of conflicts between you and your mate and what that so-and-so done did this time.
7. Please refrain from using profanity while on duty. We as customers understand banter between colleagues (except when you are waiting on us); however we as customers are offended when language is used that’s suited for off-the-clock conversations. We as customers have difficulty determining if you’re calling us a low down #@&%?$!!
8. Please do not wear open toe or slingback shoes. We as customers understand that you want to be stylish, and comfortable, and we do accept open toe and slingback shoes with limitations; however we do not understand the corn on your pinkie toe caus’n sparks on the carpet. Open toe and sling back shoes are only acceptable when they are stylish and appropriate for the environment, and a pedicure is completed with scrubb’n the husk off the back of your feet.
9. Please do not wear revealing clothes while on duty. We as customers understand that you think you’re cute; however we do not understand why you’re breastesses are depressing the keys on the cash register more than your hands.
10. Please do not wear pants that hang below your bottom. We as customers understand that you want to dress hip; however we do not want to see your underwear, or the streak that is not part of the underwear design.
11. Please do not ask the customer if you can help them, and then make them wait while you take a quick bite of your sandwich. We as customers understand that you may not have had a break for some reason; however we do not understand the onion breath that is singing our nostrils.
12. Please refrain from engaging in a personal phone call while on duty. We as customers understand the necessity of communication with counterparts outside of the workplace; however we do not understand why you attempt to maintain a conversation while servicing us. We suggest that you do not have your cell phone on your person while on duty, or at least terminate the call immediately once a customer approaches. We could care less about what happened on any talk show, reality show, or your own personal soap opera.
13. Please do not sing out loud, and yell, “This is my song!” to the music playing in the background at the store. We as customers understand that you have an appreciation for music; however we do not understand your harmony or lack of it; It hurts our ears…and scares us.
14. Please do not develop an attitude when a customer returns to you because you got their order wrong. We as customers understand that mistakes happen; however we do not understand why you are angry that we returned chips when we asked for fries. We know that they’re still potatoes, but it’s not what we asked for.
15. Please do not suggest that a party of (5) or more sit at separate tables that are nowhere near the other. We as customers understand that you may be busy, and are designated to a particular section; however we do not understand why we would even be asked when we clearly see several empty tables that accommodate our party size. We suggest that if the empty table is not in your section that you take the additional (10) steps to that section with the empty table(s).
The intent of this article is not to suggest that employees always work under favorable conditions (as it relates between employer and employee), it is only to suggest that even when there does exist an issue or plight that does not involve the customer…do not involve the customer. Anyone who works in the service industry must consider that when they leave their jobs, they are consumers too.
I am fully aware that there is another side…the employment side…I’ll talk about that another day…I know at times that we as customers can be a pain too.
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