Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Customer service in short supply

During my 15 years in the hospitality industry, I have learned that providing good customer service is essential to keeping your business alive. Whatever branch of the service industry—retail, restaurant, hotel services or any other sector—the common thread is "customer service."

Lately, I have been appalled with the lack of good customer service in this valley. In such a small, competitive, seasonal mountain town, one would think that business owners would do anything to please their customers. However, that does not seem to be the case. I have been into three small businesses in the past few days where I didn't even get a simple "hello" from the person working there, two of whom were the owners. No eye contact, no verbal exchange, nothing. I actually had to ask for help, which only gave me the uncomfortable feeling they were put out by my presence.

With businesses closing daily in this valley, I highly doubt they can afford to lose customers, or deter new ones, especially locals like myself who spend their money year-round. Small business owners: The money your customers spend in your establishments provides job security, puts money in your pocket, food on your table, gas in your car, heats your homes in the winter and pays for your ski passes.

We all try to support our local economy, but lately my online experiences have been more gracious. Every customer who walks into your business should be treated as they are a guest in your home, each and every time.

Sadly, I will not patronize those three before-mentioned businesses; there are three others where I can find the same products. Keep that in mind next time you don't say "hello" to a paying customer.

Rian McCarroll


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