Updated March 26 at 12:25pm

The secret of why lousy service can happen

QUESTION: Why does lousy service occur?

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The secret of why lousy service can happen


QUESTION: Why does lousy service occur?

ANSWER: Lousy service happens because companies don’t understand people OR training.

I am amazed at how many times someone in a service environment delivers lousy service. And it’s often not just lousy – add rude, offensive, abrasive, defensive, maddening and most of all disappointing.

It doesn’t have to be like that.

If I take the time to complain, which I rarely do anymore, the manager will always ask, “Did you get the name of the person?” Somehow getting the name of the person is important to the manager. But it is unimportant to me. I never get their name.

The manager is looking to blame someone. I’m looking for someone to accept responsibility. The manager is NEVER the one who takes it.

I have found poor service is a reflection of the company and its leaders, not just the person who delivered it.

When a manager asks me for the person’s name who delivered lousy service, I reply, “Don’t yell at the person who gave me lousy service. Yell at the person who trained them.” The person delivering poor service is most likely to have been poorly trained or ill-trained, or both. They’re doing what they were trained to do, and say what they were trained to say.

Or the employee will “modify training” and make statements based on their “at the moment” feelings:

• Sorry about that.

• That’s our policy.

• I’m just doing my job.

• They don’t pay me to think.

• I’m just a peon.

Or worse, they become defensive, even rude, when a customer expresses frustration or anger as a reaction to what happened. Employees do that because someone TAUGHT THEM they don’t have to take gruff from a customer. (REALITY: The customer provides the money for their paycheck).

Ever get poor service at an airline? Of course you have, everyone has. It happens because the people who work at the airlines are undertrained, poorly managed, feel put upon by their management and their leadership, underpaid, rarely if ever praised, and are exposed to constant customer complaints. They don’t like their job, they don’t like or respect their leader, they don’t like their company and they don’t like the people they serve. Not good.

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