I wouldn't say I'm a customer service expert, but there are a few things one needs when working in the customer service industry. Friendliness, patience, a working knowledge of your job, the willingness to apologize and make things right, and the willpower needed to keep from saying certain things to "difficult" customers.
Good customer service was the norm in Oklahoma. Unfortunately, it's more of a side note here in Kansas. Banks and doctors' offices are usually pretty good, but the general service we get from stores and restaurants is mediocre. There was also the incident at Applebees where our waitress gave us her whole life story. Trust me when I say that good customer service does not mean telling your customers everything they didn't want to know about your personal life.
The observation that brought about this line of thinking happened this morning when I decided to stop by McDonald's for breakfast. It was already a stressful morning because I had to get the tags for my car, and I was hungry and wanted a breakfast burrito. Our closest McDs has a history of messed up orders and workers who seem less than thrilled with their job. When we make a dinner McNugget run, the workers, at best, are uninterested, and are usually just annoyed.
But the morning workers? They're a different story. Two separate workers asked me how my morning was going, wished me a good day, smiled, and asked if I needed anything else before leaving. Maybe they were still fresh from a good night's sleep. Maybe the smell of early morning cooking grease and processed eggs does something to the human mood receptors...something good. Maybe they'd added something to the coffee that can't be found in a drug store.
Whatever it was, it was a nice experience. Maybe the service workers in Kansas collectively got together and decided that good customer service would not be the norm, but the exception that would occassionally brighten the days of us lowly, whiny, complaining customers. To be fair, maybe it's not all of Kansas. Maybe it's just THIS town.
Either way, thank you to the happy morning guys who made my breakfast experience a good one!