The Death of Customer Service

The Day Customer Service Died

Those who have experienced good customer service in the past knew that it was the attentive wait staff, quality food and friendly surroundings that made it was it was. There has been a request for an investigation of the events surrounding the entry of 3 hungry customers into Neely’s shortly after 2 in the afternoon.

I'M HUNGRY!!!

I'M HUNGRY!!!

After several minutes, a seemingly disinterested waitress named “Adrian” arrived at the table to take a drink order. Even though it was later in the afternoon and the restaurant wasn’t crowded, it took the waitperson 15 minutes to make the 15-foot trip the drink station and return with beverages.

Several more minutes passed before she came back to take the lunch order of the group, who had to return to their video shoot across the street at 3pm, information that was shared with the server.

The group waited nearly a half-hour for the bread while watching customers who had arrived after them receive their orders, eat, pay and leave. One of the party receiving the poor treatment could not stand to bear witness to the demise of good customer service and left, expressing his displeasure over the situation to another server as he left the establishment.

Not Good At All

After nearly 50 minutes, most of the main order finally arrived at the table, including the order of the person who had left the restaurant.  The party was offered complimentary dessert for having to wait so long, which they could not accept because they didn’t have time to stay and eat it.

Management apologized, but offered no explanation for their brutal elimination of good customer service. Adding insult to injury, a check for the full amount of the meal was presented to the table, even after the manager had promised to not charge for the order of the person who left. It took another several minutes, and an increasing display of bad attitude from the restaurant staff to sort that out. No tip was left.  In lieu of flowers, you’re asked to no longer patronize the establishment responsible for this heinous act.

Speed Trappin’

GOTCHA!

I was heading up 240 East Wednesday morning. Taking in the car for 90,000 mile service. The upkeep on a 10-year old car can be expensive at times, but I don’t have a car payment to worry about.

I passed three or four MPD officers with radar guns along the instate from the exits of Third to Perkins. One was clocking people, the others already had people pulled over and were writing tickets. All this before 8 o’clock.

Do You Know How Fast You Were Going?

A couple of weeks ago, I got pulled over myself, on I-55, right before the construction zone near the refinery. As he was writing me up, the officer attributed the heightened enforcement to an initiative out of Governor Bredesen’s office (most likely the annual “100 Days of Summer H.E.A.T.” The acronym stands for “Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic”).

In theory, there’s nothing wrong with the police doing a little extra to keep our highways as safe as possible.  I know there are pretty much two speeds on 40, 240 and 55: parked or balls out. Both of which lead to more accidents than if most of us were driving closer to the posted speed limits.

Here’s the thing. If there were regular, consistent enforcement of the speed limits on the area interstates, it would be much more likely that people wouldn’t treat those roads as speedways. It’s possible to go months without seeing the Memphis Police doing any type of speed enforcement. I won’t question the way the department allots manpower; I would expect them to have a better idea of where officers will do the most good. Still, it shouldn’t take an initiative out of Nashville to get Memphis cops on Memphis roadways.

In fact, there is a special unit inside the police department that’s supposed to be doing that anyway. The Special Traffic Enforcement Unit, part of the Traffic Division, has a primary responsibility for enforcing traffic laws on the intestates.

So if you officers are keeping an eye out for me, I’m not in my regular ride. Like I say, it’s at the shop. The fine folks at Performance Toyota have me in a free rental (Oxymoron? Probably).

Boxy Love!

I’ve really gotten used to being low to the road in my Celica, so they put me in a Scion xB. It’s nice, but I feel like I’m driving a bread truck. High up and visibility out of the rear windows isn’t what I’d like it to be. Nice subliminal marketing tool though. They put you in a brand new loaner when you’re car is there for a while and maybe, just maybe, you enjoy the new car experience enough to start shopping. Sorry, my car is going to have to fall apart before I buy new. Even though I’m skipping having the car antenna fixed ($600). Skipping repairs to the seat belt ($900) too.

I know what I said about trivia…

I Ask Ya!

I Ask Ya!

I promise I’m not getting into this again. It’s just that, after a slow Monday, “my trouble with trivia” led to a big jump in blog visits on Tuesday and even more on Wednesday. Apparently some of you have a bizarre interest in the subject.

Part of me wants to keep beating this horse, which is every bit as dead as good customer service, particularly if it’s going to build this kind of blog traffic. But I said no more, so no more, blog hits or not.

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2 thoughts on “The Death of Customer Service

  1. We had a similar, terrible experience with customer service in Germantown a couple of weeks ago. Two of us arrived at a Mexican restaurant at Forest Hill Irene and Poplar with about an hour to spare before we had to leave to make our daughter’s play. We were seated immediately and were waited on fairly quickly. But then–nothing! We saw others come, order, eat, and leave while we still had no food. (We had ordered fajitas because we figured they would be quick to fix.) We questioned the waitress and reminded her we had to leave at a certain time. We finally decided to leave, at which time the food miraculously was ready to be served. We told them to make it a “to go” order because we had no time to eat. (Can you imagine “to go” fajitas??) The manager did discount the meal somewhat, but not nearly enough IMHO. My husband was very vocal about his displeasure with the service, a performance that was also heard by others standing in line to pay behind us. We vowed never to eat there again. If you can’t provide the basics of customer service at a restaurant, the amenities such as strolling musicians and decor are worthless! BTW, several hours later, we finally got to eat our fajitas, which had sat in a hot car during the play and ride home. Fortunately, we did not get food poisoning.

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