Thursday, October 27, 2005

Whatever Happened to Customer Service ?

A comedian once quipped that the Air Canada vision statement was “we’re not happy ‘till you’re not happy!”. Now its not so funny. Not only is customer service on this airline poor, its poor almost everywhere you go.

The worst is The Bay. I came up with the idea of a new reality show where you win prizes if you can find a shop assistant. Really big prizes go to those who can find a shop assistant who can actually help you. I walked out in disgust the other day when, after asking to see some specific sheets for a wedding gift, I was taken to look at shirts instead.

Then there is the public service. My son has applied for several jobs at Capital Health and has yet to receive such a thing as an acknowledgement, a phone call or any recognition of his application at all. The arrogance of this employer is astounding. Its no wonder there is a shortage of health care professionals – my son is off to the US to work.

Some places you simply know are going to be dreadful. I booked online for my car to be serviced and turned up at the time I had booked. They had no idea I was scheduled to be there. When I explained that I had booked on the computer, they all laughed – “we don’t trust computers!”, my agent said. Shame that my car has three of them on board.

Then there are restaurants – where the key differentiation between one place and another is service. I have been told that I shouldn’t drink white wine with steak – “it’s not right” – and I have had the worst experiencing of all in a well known steakhouse.

I have had wonderful service at some places – Sunterra Markets, Home Outfitters (ironically owned by The Hudson’s Bay Company), and Liquor Select – and the sense of achievement one feels when it happens is out of all proportion to the service itself. It’s just the fact of getting good service that blows me away.

1 comment:

Aaron said...

Wow, Mssr. Murgatroyd. It's been a while since I dropped by this blog of yours. Keep up the great blogging. I saw your name mentioned in the Journal's letters section about a little something you wrote in the Journal. Congrats.

I think shoddy customer service these days is just a byproduct of the old saying that "it's hard to find good help these days".