What Happened to Good Customer Service? Entitlement!

I am not sure what has happened to good customer service these days.  If I had a dollar for every time I have been in an establishment and either been completely ignored, talked over, or just treated rudely, I would not have to work at all.  What has happened?  Well, I have a theory, entitlement. 

There is a funny skit series called “Bonquiqui” which seems to depict the average level of service I get from most establishments I frequent.  In this skit, the main character seems put out by just about everyone and everything associated with her job.  Along with this general disgust for work, she has the worst vocabulary and presence there is.  The part of most skits I find ironic is the line manager who just can’t seem to change the situation, often just giving in and letting the Bonquiqui have her way.  There is part of the problem.  But first, entitlement:

An entitlement is a guarantee of access to benefits based on established rights or by legislation. A “right” is itself an entitlement associated with a moral or social principle, such that an “entitlement” is a provision made in accordance with legal framework of a society. Typically, entitlements are laws based on concepts of principle (“rights”) which are themselves based in concepts of social equality or enfranchisement.

So how does entitlement foster poor customer service?  Well, if you think about it, most people have it in their mind that a job is a right they deserve just because they are alive.  Now, before going any further, I applaud those who actually get a job rather than waiting someone else to support them.  With this said, there seems to be a genuine disregard for wanting to do something the right way, the first time, to the best of one’s ability.  What has happened to the work ethic today? 

So being the driver minded guy that I am, I thought I would use this time to not complain about the consistent poor customer service I tend to attract, but rather, encourage those of you who are leaders in your organization to inspect what you expect.  Empower your line managers to take action for your clients and against those in the organization who do not treat your clients with respect and dignity. 

Good Workplace Example

I love Starbucks.  It’s not because the coffee is so great I cannot live without it, or because I like to be one of those who appear to have the money to go and get gold-infused coffee.  I like going to Starbucks because of the atmosphere and the service I receive.  I love hearing, what can I get started for you versus, may I help you.  There seems to be an energy there and a lot of it starts with the staff who is eager to please. 

So for all of you Starbucks haters out there, take a minute to compare the shop flowing of coffee and money to your establishment.  Could someone say the same about your place of business?  Is there such an energy people find themselve addicted to coming back and paying 3x more than your competitor?  I can tell you, I will pass 10 McDonald’s mocha shops selling their java for $1 to go to the Starbucks 10 miles out of the way to pay $4.78 for the same product and better service. 

Think about your company and if you have a Bonquiqui, attitude throwing, vocabulary-impaired, customer service challenged employee… put them on an action plan to get them out of there!  Maybe then, you might start seeing minor changes in your environment, your clients’ engagement and eventually your bottom line. 

So, get you a starbucks coffee, any flavor, and sit down with a peg board of who’s out, and who’s in. 

Trent Cotton has spent a number of years in management and business consulting. After spending some time in the field, he joined the HR department, beginning in recruiting and eventually serving as the Department Head of HR for one of the major lines of business. With such a varied background, he works to bring all of these together to help organizations incorporate best practices into their business to help them succeed. In his free time, he also writes a lot on his other blog, Christian Men, Christian Warrior.

For my professional resume, click here.

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4 thoughts on “What Happened to Good Customer Service? Entitlement!

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