Saturday, 24 October 2015 19:48

In praise of a week of outstanding service

We’ve all been on the receiving end of that grumpy waiter, shop assistant or receptionist and there is quite a bit of (rightful) moaning about bad service out there. This is especially true for those of us who come from countries where (whilst not necessarily natural or authentic) polite service is certainly required by the employer.

I’ve somehow just enjoyed a week of outstanding service all around. Not that I go out or shop that much, but when I do, I notice. It may just be because I am a regular at the places I go to, but even random little shops have been surprising me.

Maybe word is getting out that customer service should not really be ‘optional’… I’ve actually made it a habit of commenting on it – be it good or bad. Perhaps some people really don’t know how rude they come across – language barrier, cultural differences and all that. And maybe the boss/manager does not know it either.

I like to go to one particular seaside café where I am amazed by the friendly and attentive staff every single time. With views and prices being so similar all along the seafront, it certainly does influence one’s decision.

On several occasions, I have asked for the duty manager to ensure he/she understands how much value those mostly young Eastern European staff members add to the venue. My comments are always greeted with much joy (and surprise). The staff may not be getting an immediate pay raise, but hopefully appreciation and pleasant working conditions.

During this last week, I’ve made it a point to mention everywhere that I appreciate their friendliness and great customer service and would surely be back and tell my friends about them. I am by no means the kind of customer who’ll help make those daily margins, but big or small, we all count and ‘they’ all need customers. We should all make an effort to give some feedback and reward the ‘good guys’.

Especially if the service is bad, why not (politely) point that out? Surely if all these ‘sour faces’ realise that they are not going unnoticed, something is bound to change? Even if there’s no manager available or all desire for further communication has vanished, a short “May I tell you that you are being very unprofessional and impolite”, accompanied by an uninvolved smile, is better than letting it pass.

Encouragingly enough, some managers will take action. I was recently at a private clinic where the prices you pay have you half expect a cappuccino, gold slippers and your own couch upon arrival. Alas, the receptionist there was so shockingly rude, she had us all aghast and especially the elderly lady she was dealing with, who was already intimidated by the big, modern premises, was quite obviously shaken.

I went for my appointment, but afterwards did request to see the HR manager to report the incident. My complaint was dealt with in a most pleasant and professional manner and while I would not want anyone to lose their job because of me, I do think if we all keep ‘clarifying’ what is acceptable and what is not, things will slowly change for the better. Hopefully many will soon have a ‘week of outstanding services’.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of October 23rd

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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