Customer Service: The good, the bad and the ugly.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018




We've all been involved in some kind of customer service in our lifetime. Whether you are the one giving or receiving you've been a part of it. Every job I've had since 16 has been some kind of customer service, starting out at a supermarket part time moving on to working on the phones for a healthcare company, to my current job working for a cashback site dealing with the support tickets. During all of these jobs I've had some great customers, even regular ones at the supermarket who always made a beeline for your till and you felt like you know them, you'd help them pack their bags and make small talk about their life and what has been happening and then they'd be on their way until the following week. For the most part, working in customer service is a rewarding job, you get to help the customer, they're happy and that makes you happy. But what about when things don't go so well? 

In my personal experience, I have found restaurants to provide some of the worst customer services, often as it starts bad and progressively gets worse. I understand they are busy, but sometimes even when they're not they would rather stand around and talk rather than help you. Once I was in Chiquitos for almost 3 hours; and an hour of that was trying to pay the bill when we had finished, I wanted to complain in regards to this matter but I struggle to find a phone number and that's where CCSN come in. With their huge directory, you can find the number for the correct person within an instant, great right? No more trawling through Google for hours trying to find an email/phone number which is correct. I myself try to reflect to speak to the customer how they are speaking to me. You can tell when someone just really doesn't want small talk, but it's often good just to reach out to them even about the small things, e.g. an item of jewellery. Just let them know you like it, it's easy and can make someone's day. Like most things, there are ups and downs in regards to customer service. 

Recently I was visiting Birmingham and wandered into Blue Banana and if you know me well, you'll know I like to dye my hair a lot. I was considering a pink hair dye but wasn't sure which to get to go over the darker colours in my hair plus what process would be involved. Straight away an assistant was on hand offering their opinion on what dyes and colours would suit. Her manager was listening to the conversation and it turns out she has a background in hairdressing and told me I would need to start with a dark pink and also would need to strip it, bleach it, leave it for 24 hours, wash twice and dye it last. I didn't know half of these steps existed and would never have gone away and considered them. Once I was done deciding on a colour, I also wanted some help with my piercing and getting a ring for it, the sales adviser again was more than happy to show me the different sizes and help me pick the best size for my nose. I left the shop feeling happy with my purchases and with a great review of the staff. It's strange how when people have a bad experience they're more than happy to share it with the world, but with good customer service, we don't shout about it as loud. 

It's so important to let people know how great their service is, but also the same if their service could be improved. If the service is outstanding let them know.


What is the best customer service you have ever received? 

*Written in collaboration with CCSN, however, all experiences are my own and Blue Banana rocks my socks!

17 comments

  1. We went to Aldi a few weeks ago and my toddler was saying I need a wee Mumny, a member of staff overheard and asked us if we wanted to use the staff toilets. I was so relived, waiting with a potty training toddler isn’t a great option x

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  2. I've had the same issue in chiquitoes before and we were pretty much the only people in there, it was ridiculous. I spent 7 and a half years in retail management and I definitely felt I noticed good and bad service more since then x

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  3. I do very much appreciate good service in a shop or restaurant. I've had some awful times, and some really lovely experiences. One that stands out is in a very well known fast food restaurant (the one with the big M). My then 5 year old boy was having a great time on the mini dance floor, playing the interactive games. Unfortunately a family sitting next to us was making fun of him, and it was just horrible. Then my son slipped hard, fell forward and hit his head on the hard floor. He screamed. The family that had been making me feel uncomfortable howled with laughter, and mocked my little boy. I was furious. But a staff member came straight to the scene, saw what was happening, so got the first aider who saw to my son. Then she had words with the family, in a very subtle way, but it just helped. The staff were lovely, and made sure we were OK before letting us leave.

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  4. I think one of the best customer service experience I ever had was this year, whilst in a resort in Mexico. I was there to relax, a few days before my backpacking trip finished and I was alone, whilst 99% of the people were with their families. At the restaurant, as I sat down by myself, the waiter made sure to make me feel comfortable and welcomed, he even brought me another dessert at the end. During the courses he made sure to come and chat with me as well, which I thought it was really sweet of him. I know that was his job but because of his behavior I felt that it was ok that I was alone there and it was no awkwardness having dinner alone.

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  5. Completelynagree we neverntalk about the good stuff I have also noticed that people are desensitized to bad service so when someone performs their basic job role we applaud it as good service.

    Pomona Fruits an nursery online are so helpful I am an enthusiastic novice Gardner and they will spend a long time helping with advice even about plants you did nor buy from them

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  6. I didn’t even know there was a Blue Banana in Birmingham. I grew up in Cornwall and visited the shop in Plymouth regularly. When I moved to Surrey and then Hampshire, no one knew what I was on about. You’re spot on about people rushing off to tell the world about poor customer service, but no one ever rushes off to talk about the positive experiences.

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  7. Ooh yes! Good customer service really makes all the difference and definitely influences where I shop! I also try to give my own customers the kind of service that I'd like to experience myself! xx

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  8. I have no experience worse about customer service. If we want to treat us and when we serve a person we must first show respect for them.

    Commenting as Angela Ricardo Bethea

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  9. Right! We should always give that extra star to those who did great customer service by letting them know or their superior.

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  10. You're right people are quick to talk about bad customer service and not mention the good. I always try to find somewhere to leave a review if I've had good service. My most recent was a receptionist at a local hospital who was so lovely and helpful when I needed to change an appointment for my daughter....she actually squeezed us in sooner!

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  11. I love good customer service and always make an effort to be extra nice to staff who help. Nothing worse than someone on their phone or chatting to another staff member when you need help or serving.

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  12. So true companies and people should be praised more I can’t think of any good customer service I’ve had people round my way share miserable toads lol

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  13. I spent 7 years working in retail and I have to say that some customers don't make it easy for the staff, however I think part of good customer service is not letting them get to you and still doing your best.

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  14. As an ex retail worker I have to say some people don’t realise just had bad they treat staff and then blame us for a bad experience because their strops and abuse didn’t get them what they wanted. That being said I will shout out about both bad customer service and excellent, I won’t shout out about standard customer service though as that is essentially that persons job and unless they go that extra mile I don’t see the need to express it

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  15. It's great you can find all the resources you need instantly! It can be so frustrating trawling through a website and to be sent to various different pages of the site only to find NOTHING! I find these days though that a lot of brands have twitter customer service accounts, which are much more active.

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  16. When I moved to the UK from the US many years ago I couldn't believe the discrepancy in customer service. In the US there is a pride that comes with providing excellent customer service that sadly, I don't see in the UK. I do think it's improving and it shows when you encounter an employee that really goes beyond the call of duty. The UK isn't the worst though, Spain is quite appalling when it comes to customer service.

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  17. Whenever I shop in John Lewis, I always get awesome customer service. The same goes for Apple xxx

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