Feeling Ignored & Customer Service Failures

So… last night, Lauren and I went out to dinner.  Afterwards, we thought it’d be fun to hit up this cute little pie place down the street and split a slice.   We didn’t have any dessert at the restaurant and we were hankering for something sweet.

We get in the front door and we’re waiting in line to take our order.  And… we just sit in line.  Doesn’t feel like it’s moving at all.  We get up a little bit closer and the guy at the register is changing out the money, which is fine but he doesn’t acknowledge the people in line at all.  He just goes about his business and is totally oblivious to the fact that we’ve been waiting in line for 10 minutes.

We order our slice and are getting excited by the smells of freshly baked pie wafting from the back of the store.   We sit down at the bar by the counter and we wait… and we wait… and we wait some more.

At one point, the woman was like “Oh your slice will be up in just a few minutes.”  They had just popped a bunch of slices in the warmer.  Assumed, they were heating it up for us.

We wait a little bit longer.  We both start getting really annoyed.  Where the H is our pie?   And we get the increasing feeling that they’re completely oblivious to the fact that we were still waiting for pie.

So, I mention it to the guy behind the counter.  He doesn’t seem to do much.  We wait another what seemed like 10 minutes.  Still no pie.  We mention it to someone else behind the counter.   She takes action.  We finally get pie.

By the end of the night, Lauren and I were happy to have gotten pie but annoyed that it took forever and even just more generally unhappy that the folks at the store didn’t seem to care about us at all.

Now, if they would have been packed, I would have been more forgiving but it was mostly empty.

So… what’s the moral of the story?  You always need to be aware of what’s going on.   Are you being perceptive to the situation around you?  Is there someone who you could do a better job of serving?

There are always going to be ways to improve and there are always going to be problems that need to be solved but you don’t want to just let them fester.  You want to address them as quick as possible so the customer know you care.

My experience at the pie shop was a total customer service failure.  What are some customer experience failures that you’ve experienced?

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5 thoughts on “Feeling Ignored & Customer Service Failures”

  1. The post office has to be the place for the worst customer service in the world!!! It doesn’t just happen once in a while, it is always terrible. The line can be out the door, yet there are only one or two people working the counter ( employees from the back occasionally come out and see how busy it is, but instead of helping just turn around and leave). I come from the restaurant industry where hustle and the sense of urgency rules, so it totally makes me crazy when the postal employees have a “full house” but still move like turtles.

  2. @Mary, thanks so much for the comment. Yeah I’m totally with you on the post office. The experience is always sub-par. And we wonder why the post office is tanking.

  3. Friday must have been a bad day for customer service! I received such horrible customer service via phone that it ended up being laughable. I called a major phone company to inquire about a different service plan. The male rep answers the phone in a very non-professional voice. I would have started off angry but I had to laugh at *what* he said — “How can I satisfy you today?” I’m sorry but the way he said it made me think I had called one of those late night phone ads.

    I explained what I was looking for in a plan without long distance. He told me what I had was the best plan because it included unlimited long distance. Huh? Didn’t I just say I didn’t want long distance?

    Okay, let’s try this again. I restated what I was looking for. He seemed puzzled but said he could look through some screens to see if there was anything different. He garbled some plan names for which I had to try to get him to ennunciate so I could understand. No, he wasn’t speaking a foreign language or with an accent.

    After several tries his (slurred?) speech became more clear and I could understand the plan names. He proceeded to tell me there was a plan called something like “basic unlimited” with unlimited local calling. Then he said there was something like “basic 400” which was the same thing as the unlimited but for a different price. Hmm? Two plans exactly alike but different prices? Sounds strange.

    He explained there was also a “basic 100” plan and it had all the same features as the others but than it only had 100 minutes of local calls.

    By now, I’m getting a little evil grin thinking surely this call is going to be reviewed by a supervisor if I have anything to do with it!.

    So I say, “Do you suppose the ‘basic 400′ plan means it only comes with 400 calls and isn’t unlimited?” To which he replies, “Well, yeah. If you think you’re really going to make more than 400 calls.”

    His lack of perspective taking really floored me. I was sure he had to have slept through his training and perhaps needed some more sleep at that very moment.

    After I hung up I called back, knowing I would get someone else and could ask for a supervisor to request that “Brian” get some follow-up training.

    I spoke with a nice rep who passed me along to his nice supervisor. But it turns out, “Brian” never logged his call with me, which he was supposed to do, even though he had my account open. I guess he missed that part of training too.

    So the supervisor had no way of knowing who this “Brian” guy was. The call centers are all over the country. So whereever you are out there, “Brian,” I hope you are getting some more rest and that you ask your boss for more training. Best to you.

    On the positive note, I had a really great customer service from the FCC right after that call!! No, I wasn’t complaining about any foul-mouthed AM DJ’s. I was inquiring about problems with number portability from another company who claimed the FCC wasn’t letting them port numbers, which contradicted what I had read on the FCC page. She kindly explained that the company should be porting our numbers except under a couple of conditions and that it wasn’t the FCC that was preventing them from doing so. I guess there’s going to be some more customer service calls in the next few days. Let’s see how they go!

    And if you want some really great customer service I highly recommend placing an order with Edmund Scientific. They have treated us like royalty when we’ve had even the slightest problems with our orders. Check ’em out. Everyone needs a drinking bird, right? http://www.scientificsonline.com/famous-drinking-bird.html

  4. Bummer, I think I know where you were, they were on top of it when we visited a few weeks ago. Hopefully the power of the intertubes somehow make them aware. That guy is doing them immeasurable harm and should probably be somewhere else zoning out.

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