Over the last while I have noticed that there seems to be some problems with customer service. The simple helping a customer and focusing on them until you are finished servicing them seems to be gone.
Recently we were in a mall and at a fast food counter, the server was talking to a friend when we arrived. She quickly took our order and immediately went back to her conversation with her friend. Yes, she did prepare what we ordered but it wasn't her focus. The conversation with her friend was her focus so therefore the product we got wasn't up to the standard that we normally expect from a chain fast food location.
It is very important when working in the service industry and part time jobs at fast food counters are part of this that you realize that you need to pay attention to the customer. What should be normal practice is, if you are talking to a friend and a customer appears you immediately put the conversation “on hold” until you have completed the entire dealing with the customer. The customer is the one that is making the business the money, not the friend and that needs to be understood.
The comments are not just about individuals working at fast food counters, it is individuals that are working in any retail business. I have found that even in stores, the conversations between co-workers are sometimes viewed as more important than the serving of the customers.
Good customer service makes a big difference if a person returns or not. In some cases you will never know why a customer has not returned and in other cases you may find out. If you lose one customer due to bad service you may have lots more based on word of month. The comments that a person makes to their friends and co-workers can really impact a business.
Remember customer service is very important because you never know who you are service and what impact their comments can make.