In my opinion, we are very much reluctant in customer service. Our service standard level is very poor. In this technologically developed era, everything is fast, especially in development. However, the people who are in service are very poor. It’s not that everyone is intentionally giving poor service, but most of them are not well aware.
A Mix of Excellence and Disappointment
I observed the impressive standard of our exterior and interior decoration, meeting international benchmarks. Unfortunately, the service providers, who are the main heart of business sustainability, are completely unaware and untrained about customer service. Many of them even perform with reluctance and hesitate to offer a simple smile. This is evident from gatekeepers to top management. Courtesy has become a very expensive item to offer to their customers. The helping attitude is almost nowhere in the service industry.
While attending a meeting at a leading corporate organization, the physical outlook and decorations of that organization were excellent, incorporating technology from entrance to the entire office. But the facial expressions and attitude of the employees conveyed an unwelcoming vibe, making me feel like an unwanted visitor.
On a family trip to a popular tourist spot, the unpleasant experiences began at the airport, where security officers exhibited rudeness while checking tickets. Despite the beautifully decorated airline ticket counters at the airport with LED screens, the staff, though well-dressed, behaved rudely with greetings and smiles. Their interactions felt more like police interrogations than customer service. In the 5-star ranked hotel, I found a similar experience. No proper communication, commitment failure, and service delay. Although the hotel spent millions of dollars decorating the entire place from entrance to exit, without trained and efficient staff, organizations often feel uncomfortable investing money in employee development, thinking training is expensive. However, they forget that no training is more expensive, as they are losing customers every day, and no customer refers to anyone.
A Glimpse of Exceptional Customer Service
However, I had a fantastic experience. One evening I was very hungry while traveling. I was asking people where I should have my lunch. Everybody was giving me a reference to a restaurant. So I decided to go there. When I arrived, I was a little shocked because the decorations of the restaurant were average. But one thing attracted me: every waiter was so welcoming and smiling from the heart, I felt at home. One gentleman came to me and suggested their best items from their menu card. Despite the average-quality food, the caring service made the experience delightful.
So, after lunch, when I was paying the bill, I saw the same waiters serving and suggesting food to other guests as well. I told the manager of the restaurant that now I understood why people are referring me to this restaurant. He politely asked me, “May I know what the reason is?” I told him, “Your excellent customer service. You are not taking this service as your job; you are actually doing it from your heart.” After listening to my feedback, he felt shy and said, “Sir, I think it’s my duty, not just serving food but also treating them like my family members. Because I believe the customer is like the representative from God. They come, they enjoy, and we get our Rizik through our happy customers.”
Customer Referrals Matter
This experience emphasized the importance of customer referrals. If customers are not advocating for the service they received, then it means we are falling short. Business is not a one-time transaction; a satisfied customer can become a valuable promoter, creating a positive effect.
Customer Service Investment
Despite significant investments in technology, creative business content, and decorations, customer service remains a neglected aspect. Customers don’t seek expensive gestures; they desire good behavior, concise communication, a sincere smile, and the truth. Recognizing that customers are vital for business survival, especially in an era with multiple options and choices, emphasizes the urgency to prioritize and enhance our customer service efforts. Maybe your business is now top-ranked, but neglecting customers and employees may drop your positive ranking from the top to disappear.
My humble request to all organizations: please be attentive to your customer service. Conduct an overall organizational assessment, assess employee skills, gather customer feedback, and identify the top reasons for customer dissatisfaction. Hire renowned organizations with relevant training materials and expert trainers. Continuously follow up and improve. Remember, your business thrives if your customers are happy.