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Where Can I Go To Buy Some Good Customer Service?

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Being a personal chef, a large part of my weekly schedule is devoted to spending time in food stores, shopping for my clients. And being a wife and a mother as well, a large part of my weekly schedule is devoted to spending time in…you guessed it: stores. All kinds of 'em. Sometimes, I get to feeling like I live in them. I think you get my point; I spend a lot of time shopping for various things.That being the case, I can't begin to tell you how many aisles and check-out lines I find myself in during the course of a week, and it's becoming ever increasingly clear that really good customer service seems to be more elusive these days. When I find myself saying "Thank you" as I reach for the receipt from an employee who doesn't even provide me with a lick of eye contact while she mutters back a limp "Your welcome", (really?) then that's when I start to get the feeling that things have gotten just a wee-bit turned around.

It's true: I'm a pretty big stickler about not bringing outside "issues" to work. Just like anyone else, I've got my share of challenges and not-so-great days, but the fumes from any personal situation of mine shouldn't have to be inhaled by anyone else. When I'm at work, I'm paid to provide a service; and a major part of providing that service is doing it with a courteous and pleasant demeanor. Frankly, I'm grateful for my job, and for the fact that I can bring home a paycheck while so many are struggling right now to do the same. Sometimes it seems that a lack of gratitude coupled with a heavy dose of apathy informs people's attitudes while they're on the job, and when there isn't any correction that takes place, or any attention that gets put on the issue, then poor customer service becomes the "norm" over time. I find myself asking the question, "Who hired this person?" If the saying goes, "An apple doesn't fall far from the tree", then could that also be true of an employee and their manager? Just wondering.

The truth is, everyone ends up being the customer at some point, don't they? I'm not quite sure why customer service seems to be coming up a bit short in the personality department these days, but I'm awfully curious. Maybe it's a lack of empathy or desire to connect; perhaps there's a shortage of gratitude. I have the feeling it's most likely a case of "all of the above" being true. Certainly, there are still some absolutely wonderful customer service employees out there that take incredible pride in their job and how they perform that job, and they deserve acknowledgment. They continue to put on a friendly disposition through different circumstances that they face with customers, some surely challenging. I appreciate them, and am always inspired and frankly invigorated and refreshed when I go through their line. These folks brighten my day, and renew my confidence; they send me on my way with a little spring in my step and perhaps even a smile on my face. They're the ones that remind me that there are folks out there that do understand the true meaning of customer service; they make the customer feel less like an annoyance, and more like a part of the very reason they have a job in the first place.

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