Customer Service – A Thing of the Past?

Yesterday was a beautiful day. So, I decided to leave my office for the first time in a couple of weeks, during the day, and take myself to lunch. I went into the sandwich shop close to my office and ordered a sandwich. While they were making it I requested that my sandwich be warmed. I was then informed that there was no way for them to heat my sandwich. I was floored. You are a sandwich shop and you have no means of giving the customer a choice of a warm sandwich versus a cold one? I then proceeded to ask them why and I was told “it is more convenient for us to not to have to stop and warm the sandwiches for the customer.” I was horrified. More convenient for them! What about what the customer wants or needs. There may have been a reason behind me asking for a warm sandwich other than I just don’t like cold food. This is an example of bad customer service. Evidently this company is more concerned about inconveniencing their employees than doing right by their customers.

Then, I proceeded to leave the sandwich shop, after only eating about 3/4 of my meal, to head to the cupcake place around the corner. Oh boy. I go in and the guy at the register hands me this huge menu, a two page color brochure of gorgeous cupcakes. So I stand there and peruse the menu. Finally, I choose german chocolate and champagne wedding cake, I order six of both. Only for him to say, “Those aren’t on our daily menu. We only make certain cupcakes each day. So choose from this list.” He then points to a Friday daily menu list with only about six cupcakes on it, none of which I want. Who does that? What company gives you a menu of services then says, “Oh, we only provide these on this day?” Again an example of a company that is doing what is convenient for them, not what their customer wants or needs. This is again bad customer service. I proceeded to tell him exactly how bad this procedure is for his customers and I left.

Then, at dinner last night I went to my favorite sushi place in town for a quiet meal all by myself. My husband had a meeting so I treated myself to dinner out. My waiter was a young man in his early twenties. He barely spoke two words to me after I was seated, except to ask for my order, which he acted like was an inconvenience. Then, every time I asked him for something he grunted like I was bothering him. Then, the hostess proceeded to sit a family next to me with a screaming child, without asking. I hate it when they do that. Some people prefer NOT to dine out next to families with unruly children/toddlers. I am one of them. So my solitude was over and I promptly left.

Restaurants and businesses need to cater to the desires and needs of their patrons. If it is not for their customers they would not be in business. Only doing what is convenient for them as a business will not keep them in business very long. We as customers do not care what is convenient for them. We only care about whether or not what they have meets our desires or needs. Companies will do better if they remember that.

Where I work we always put the customer first. It may be inconvenient, but that does not matter. Excellent customer service is what drives your business and maintains your customer base. Don’t you agree?



  1. carl carter says:

    You been reading my blog or my mind? When is the last time you went into a retail store and had somebody actually make eye contact and try to interest you in what they sell?

  2. admin says:

    It is truly sad that companies do not strive to do a better job with customer service, especially in this economy. People are picking and choosing where they spend their money more than ever. Companies that do not provide good customer service will suffer in the long run.

  3. ScottW says:

    You’re preaching to the choir Cynthia. The more a business realizes that their customers are what makes them or breaks them the better their service will be. Yet some still don’t get it.

  4. cynthia says:

    Yes Scott that is true. In today’s economy businesses cannot afford for customer service to suffer. People can and will take their business to someone who will take care of them. It is an expensive lesson for most businesses yet some do not think customer service is important.

  5. karla porter archer says:

    I suspect the cupcake place has a very valid reason for the daily cupcake menu.

    Imagine making 40+ varieties of cupcakes per day, just to (maybe) make everyone happy. Lots of waste and added expense when those people dont come in.

    They probably have a lot of regulars. Better to offer certain kinds on certain days, knowing the German Chocolate lovers will learn to definitely go on that day. Offering it this way allows them to offer a larger variety, that *will* make their customers happy, rather than just serving the standard chocolate, vanilla and red velvet.

    Me? I’ve never met a cupcake I didn’t love. 🙂

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