Customer service and critical thinking skills are not being taught anymore. As someone who has essentially been involved in some form of the customer service industry for more than 15 years, I think I can confidently say that these skills are now rare.
I don’t know if they’re just not being taught or if the trainees just don’t care, but I find myself encountering a lackadaisical attitude almost everywhere I go. I used to wait tables at a fancy hotel. It was hard work, and we had to be extremely accommodating to our guests. This was not always easy to do. While I worked there, I learned that the customer is NOT always right, but there are ways to say no and still provide excellent customer service. And you know what? I personally felt that someone paying $22 for a hamburger (sides were extra) probably assumed part of the price they were paying was for the quality customer service I would provide.
I’ve gotten some crazy requests in my day and by the way, that didn’t stop when I quit waiting tables and started working behind a desk. I do feel like people want to be treated with respect, and when they’re paying for a service they expect it to be done correctly, efficiently and in a friendly manner.
I recently went to dinner at a fancy restaurant in Atlanta. The food was fantastic and the atmosphere was very pleasant. The service wasn’t terrible but it was just so slow and it was like the waiter was in outer space. He just kind of moseyed along like he didn’t have a care in the world. Meanwhile, our water glasses were empty, refills took at least 10 minutes, and he didn’t tell us in advance that the kitchen was out of certain items. I’m not the fastest person in the world, but when I was working as a server I knew my tip was based on how quickly I provided service and being competent and friendly. Maybe this guy had already made his money for the night, so our table was no big deal. Who knows?
Critical thinking skills are also something that should be highly prized in this day and age. A few years ago, my husband and I went to a Taco Bell/KFC. I wanted a chicken quesadilla from the Taco Bell side, and he wanted fried chicken from the KFC side. He placed the order at the drive-thru and the response was that they didn’t have any chicken for the quesadilla. How can they not have chicken when there’s a KFC in the SAME building, sharing a kitchen? We actually asked that question and the 15 year-old taking our order was stupefied. The chicken wasn’t pre-packaged and prepped so the kids working there had no idea what to do. Yikes! I get that it’s fast food, but can we think about this for a second? Those kids didn’t even understand the premise that they could’ve technically used some of the Colonel’s chicken to stuff the quesadilla.
I have no idea what to do about this phenomenon except that those of us that do have customer service and critical thinking skills have a responsibility to teach these things to our children. Otherwise, we’ll one day wake up to a world where people only respond when a button embedded in their head is pushed, a la Mark Zuckerberg’s virtual reality and the response will probably only involve grunting. The zombie apocalypse is already here people, and it’s among those who can’t think for themselves and just can’t be bothered to do a good job. It’s a scary world out there. To those of you who do posses these skills (and I do know quite a few people that do) congrats! You’re a survivor and immune to this zombification. Just keep telling yourself that your skills do matter. A probiotic wouldn’t hurt either. Just to be safe.
-Amanda Scott, Program Manager for the Liberty County CVB
The Right Blend Blog is written by three different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. As we are able, we rotate weeks and each write about our individual experiences, opinions and let our writing reflect our personalities and creativity. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.