Bad Service Does Cost You…Yes, YOU, the Service-Provider, NOT the Customer

I have a number of friends that work in jobs related to the provision of services, so I feel that I can write this blog with a reasonable sense of certainty.

Often my friends will complain about a rude customer, an I-can’t-fill-this-form-out-myself-because-I’m-just-too-lazy-customer or a general-pain-in-the-butt-customer. With that said, I am sure they aren’t exaggerating either. I have actually been in a queue at a friend’s workplace when I have witness such behaviour first-hand. But, now I wish to toss the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons…

What happens when a customer is desperate to make use of the service that your company is rendering, only to be given lip? Just this morning, Mom had to deal with such a scenario…

Our electricity is up the pole – on and off since just before the 07:00 news. This meant a shit start to the day for both of us. I had to do my make-up for work in the shadowed bathroom – the result…my face looks like it was stuck in Cuba for a month because I grabbed the wrong foundation out of the bag! Next, I couldn’t get my car out of the garage, because that too works with electricity. Eventually after cursing, screaming, kicking and shouting I managed to get the door’s manual release to work and was on my way to work, only to arrive about 30 minutes late. Anyway, that is the dark situation in a nutshell.

I eventually convinced Mom to phone the most well-known electrical company in our town (there is only one other…). After explaining to the woman answering the phone what the problem is, Mom is informed that the electrician will be at the house at about 15:30. Here I am rolling my eyes thinking, if this man has to work on the box outside the house, 15:30 is going to be much too late because the storm clouds are even darker than the bathroom was this morning¸ but I say nothing. The receptionist then proceeds to ask how the bill will be settled. A fair question, I don’t deny. Mom politely explained to her that she herself is a not-so-tech-savvy pensioner, so I would do an internet transfer as soon as I get home tonight. It was this response that not only made Mom angry, but me too, when she phoned me to tell me, “Well, what time exactly does your daughter get home? We only work ‘til five. We can’t wait until she gets home one day to do the payment.” Needless to say, they are not going to be coming round at 15:30, nor will we be recommending them to anyone else.  So now we will use the other company…they are well aware of their competitor’s good reputation, so I guarantee they will put in more effort to offer a better service.  The other company’s loss will no doubt be their gain.

In today’s day and age, where money is tight and often, business is scarce, surely it is better to be polite to a potential customer than to cost your company current business now and referral business in the future. So too all my friends and those others of you in the service industry, next time you have a difficult customer, rather smile politely and conduct the transaction professionally. You need your customers to keep coming back, to maintain your company’s income, and so too, your jobs.

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One thought on “Bad Service Does Cost You…Yes, YOU, the Service-Provider, NOT the Customer

  1. SidevieW November 17, 2011 / 3:20 pm

    yup, I’m often having to find ways to tell people the bad news about themselves in ways that they can accept. I’ve become pretty good at the fancy footwork

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