Everyone hates poor service – whether in shops, hotels, restaurants, garages.
Equally everyone loves good service.
However, about the former we are quick to complain, while sadly few of us are as quick to praise good service.
But while poor service is relatively easy to define – being ignored by a shop assistant, having your soup poured into your lap by a cack-handed waiter – good service is infinitely more subjective.
It’s great to go into a shop and be greeted by a member of staff.
After that it’s difficult – when does attention from the staff become overwhelming and annoying? When does lack of attention lead to the loss of a sale? And how does a shop assistant know where the tipping point is?
There is also a balance to be struck between providing good service, telling the customer you’re providing good service, and actually just getting on with it.
Recent experience with a bodywork repair to my car was a case in point.
I was able to monitor progress on the repair on-line, via text messages and phone calls from the garage.
Yet, despite all this information, masquerading as good service, at the end of the day I was disappointed and angry at how they had dealt with the job.
Quite frankly, I, and I suspect my insurers, would have been happier if the garage had concentrated on completing a speedy repair to the car rather than keeping me informed minute-by-minute of progress.
It’s the same in restaurants.
There’s no point in asking me within moments of putting my food in front of me if I’m happy, then asking again while I’m eating it just becomes annoying.
I’ll let them know if I’m not happy, and surely an empty plate is a sign of a satisfied diner?
I’m also quite capable in shops of asking for assistance, and personally detest being dogged by staff as I mooch around.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this attitude, and I’m sure I’m not alone in finding that when I do need help there are no staff members in sight, and if they are, they are incapable of making eye contact!
And then there are the shops where there is a friendly greeting, but staff succeed in leaving you feel intimidated by both them and what’s on sale.
The service industry is all-important to Fife’s – and Scotland’s – economy nowadays, so businesses large and small have to get it right.
Across Fife there are small “customer-facing” businesses who have to get it right every time. Many of them invest a lot of money and time in their staff.
It’s great to go into a shop, restaurant, bar, garage, whatever, and find staff who are friendly (but not too friendly) and knowledgeable about their product.
We as customers can help though, by responding to good service instead of to poor service. Tell the outlet that you’ve had good service, and tell your friends, neighbour and colleagues about your experience.
It’s time to stop being anation of moaners and become a nation which gives praise where praise is due.