Customer Service… Customer what???

Customer service is a outdated expression. Generally, people who have this title do not serve the customers. They serve their own self, or maybe their bosses, but not, almost never the customer.

We’re about to change electricity providers and I’ve called my current provider twice already indicating we would like to leave and move to the competitor. Note that no normal person does that, they just change. However, I work with sales and I know how much each business is valued. I work hard to win businesses and I try as best as I can not to loose them.

Both times when I called, not only they didn’t care, but they expressed the did not care and the last time the lady on the other side of the phone used the following sentence: “Pedro, you’re lucky we’re not charging you more”!!! Can you believe that? I was going NUTS inside my head. I was giving them a second chance to retain my business and that’s what I got in return.

Note that here in New Zealand (as well as in every developed country) electricity is a commodity. no one develops any affection for their providers and it doesn’t cost anything to change. In fact, in most cases, you’re better off changing every 6 months because they offer you extra bonuses to change over. In addition to this fact, there has been a rumor that we as low end consumers have been way over-charged and a new law is being developed and will soon be implemented (hopefully) reducing drastically what we pay at the end of the line for our electricity. This means one thing to the providers, LESS SPREAD, in simple words, less margin. Don’t you think they should fight harder for customers???

But then you think, “Oh well, who cares, its just electricity… you win one here, loose another there and everything balances out…”  The worse is that this bad culture is all over the place. Retail shops, supermarkets, boutiques, luxury stores (Yeah, can you believe that?), bars, restaurants… It’s everywhere.

Jus another quick example: The other day my wife and I had some take-away (or take-outs as Americans would say) and went to sit on some benches, public ones, along the side walk. Right by that bench where we sat, there was a table, which belonged a cafe/bar around the place. The place was empty, there was actually no one there, not a living soul. Can you believe one of the waiters came to us and the first thing he said was: “Excuse me guys but you’re going to have to sit somewhere else because the table belongs to the cafe”… I could only laugh. Serious? How about: “Hey guys, what a nice day it is… How is your lunch? Would you ike a coffee with it?

Totally different approach and I can guarantee you that if that was the case, he would have had at least one order if not more… And I don’t even drink coffee but I would order just because he would have done what no one does this days: SERVE THE CUSTOMER!

Well, this is it for now. Think about it and check if in your area, business, church or anything else, you’re really serving your customers.

 God bless

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