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Bheki Dlamini
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What happened to customer service?

14 May 2014, 14:01
It has become so obvious that customer service is an option nowadays. You walk into a leading superstore and the attendants look at you like they are doing you a favour. What happened to the welcoming smile that we are always promised?
While working as a sales person for a retailer ages ago, I knew that I had to leave my problems at the gate of my house and plant a smile on my face no matter what I was facing personally. At times this was challenging but had to be done.
I didn’t do it because my employer forced me to. I did it because I knew that no one wants to buy from a grumpy sales person.
We face a variety of problems on a daily basis. Be it at the workplace, on the road or even from home but that is no excuse to treat the one person that pays your salary like an enemy.
As I left the till the other day walking towards door of a leading retailer, I heard the lady mumbling how the next guy didn’t even wait for her call before marching towards her. I turned my head in disbelief. Did she want to paint her nails first?
My concern is not so much about the person standing next to the till sulking while you pay for your groceries, using the money that you worked so hard for that eventually goes into paying her salary. My concern is the reputation of the employer, the supermarket, the pizza place. How can I go back into such a hostile environment?
Negative energy is contagious and it can ruin your whole day, or life. That is probably why sulking people never advance in life.
I was always a sweet shopper until one day I decided to give the sulkers a piece of my mind.  I then decided to make it my business to complain about rotten service. If I’m not happy with the waiter’s service I call the manager, and if he’s anything but helpful, there’s the franchisor or the owner. This chain eventually ends up on HelloPeter or Twitter.
I would expect to be informed when an employee of mine behaves in a manner that tarnishes the image of my company. 
I just can’t stand it. If you can’t do the work that you gladly accepted, stay at home and stop ruining my life. Such hostile conduct is tantamount to robbery.
And these recruiters need to ensure that they either train their candidates or select people that are actually alive.
I think we have become so complacent with this behaviour that we are somehow allowing it to spread uncontrollably.
It’s time to put the brakes on!
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