Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Customer Service and writing.

I like coffee and good service!
I've always been a bit of a people watcher. I suppose that is one of the foundations of writing and so it is not unusual to notice how one is treated in a variety of situations. I went into Costa Coffee this afternoon, it was a warm, rather humid time and I wanted something refreshing to drink. I queued , reading the menu while I waited. There were two 'baristas' serving and they were quite pleasant if a little picturesque with their tattooed arms. A pet hate! I wasn't sure which chilled drink would be the most refreshing and mistakenly thought that if I asked which was the most refreshing I would receive some suggestions. I was wrong! The answer was 'It's up to you!' Ok she wasn't unpleasant just a little unimaginative. She could end up in a book!
For me, without doubt the best and most consistent service I have ever received was in the USA but even there in my mind it wasn't always so. A couple of times, while in mid conversation with a person serving in a shop, the phone rang, I was left mid-sentence so that the wretched appliance could be answered. Surely I held precedence. If ignored I may have left the shop and business would be lost whereas the person on the other end of the phone would ring back later!
Perhaps I'm just an awkward customer!
Which ever it is in our interactions with others it is ammunition that can be used in writing. The fact is of course there could be all kinds of reasons for people behaving the way they do when they should be focussing on others, we all bring baggage to work. I have actually worked in customer service in a call centre and if you are not on top of your game its not an easy job.
If you are a customer, which we all are every now and again, I would beg two things of you :-
1. Be patient
2. Be fair

God Bless