Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Service with a Smile

Whether you're at McDonalds or some swanky restaurant, if the service doesn't cut the mustard, then there's not a strong chance you'll go back there. Well I won't anyway.

Dealing with the public on a daily basis can be a harrowing experience. I know this because I do it myself. On reception at a busy medical centre, I've had to deal with mental health patients that can be violent (and have been at times)...people irritated because they've waited so long for their doctors...people vomiting on the carpet...others collapsing in front of me. Shit happens (sometimes literally)...it's part of the job.

Keeping it together and continuing to make sure everything else is running smoothly can take it's toll for sure. It's frustrating, not to mention emotionally exhausting to have to deal with this on a daily basis. If you get an argumentative person, you know it's best not to argue back...you bite your tongue and be empathetic to the needs of the "customer". The people I deal with are sick, we expect them to be grumpy and difficult sometimes. It goes with the territory. You learn to how handle the situation as best you can, and if that fails, pull out the gun from under the counter and shoot them. Just kidding.

When it's obvious that the people on the other side of the counter are doing their best to help you out, why would you deliberately put more pressure on them? It only serves to stress them out further and takes them longer to help you. I do what I do because I enjoy it for the most part, I'm good at doing it and I get paid for doing it.

I have stood in queues and watched/listened to staff behind counters discussing their weekends or their children. That's ok, but not when there is a line of people waiting for your attention. Ignoring them only shows how slack you are at your job.

I have had fast food practically chucked at me through the drive-thru window after I've been waiting with my engine running for over 15 minutes, thinking "any minute now, any minute now". How foolish am I to waste my expensive fuel that way?

I have sat at a table for far too long after being seated, and waited for the waiter/waitress to come and take my order. I'm not an unreasonable person, I know that restaurants are busy at peak times, I can be patient and understanding. But when the service I finally get is less than sub-standard, I get pissed off.

There are always going to be times when you feel your feet barely touch the ground....times like these, you can feel you're running around like a headless chicken. There can be so many reasons as to why you can or can't offer the service to your customers quick enough...but does that give you an excuse for treating them poorly? Especially when they're the ones that actually pay your wages indirectly? Without those punters, you have no job. Why can't some people understand that?? Perhaps they just don't care.

I got hired to be respectful and understanding to the patients that walk through the door of our surgery. And that's what I give them. I would rather drive a pencil through my eye than let them see anything different in my manner toward them, regardless of how shitty they can be to cope with.

I expect the same in return from other staff in whatever service industry. If you're running late for whatever reason, you only need let me know. If I can wait, I will....if I can't, I'll leave. But you had the courtesy to give me some kind of status report. It's the least I deserve for frequenting your place of business.

You give crap service, I won't be back. Simple as that. Keep the service friendly and helpful...I'll always be back for more. Happy customers equals lots of cash turnover equals paid bills. Unhappy customers equals empty cash registers equals knocking debt collectors.

I know I'm not alone with this, there are plenty of others that feel the same way. Are we expecting too much?


Click on this link again and see if we can keep my hands amongst all those boobies on the front page for Peeps. Um..that doesn't sound right, but you know what I mean!
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