How Not to Provide Great Service

Vert.Ipod.EarbudsToday I went into a store to get some ice cream and the guy helping me had iPod headphones in one ear – while helping me.

I couldn’t hear if there was music playing, but I think there was because he took his headphones out when I had to repeat my order because he didn’t hear me the first time.

I couldn’t believe he had iPod headphones in while working and while talking to customers. I really couldn’t believe that he still had them in when customers were trying to talk to him and order their food. It was the unbelievable representation of the disengaged worker, but unfortunately very true.

If employees want to listen to music when they do email support, that’s fine with me – it doesn’t affect the customer. However, it is completely unacceptable to be listening to music while helping a customer in person (or over the phone). It is distracting to the employee (obviously) but also to the customer (who is wondering why this employee has headphones in).

A lot of companies give employees walkie-talkies and headsets to go along with those, but customers are used to them. Headphones that clearly go with an iPod in an ice cream store is not normal, though.

Besides setting policies to ensure that the obviously bad things do not happen, it is equally (if not more important) to hire people who care. You want to hire people that want to provide service that is at least acceptable and that is at the very least, distraction free.

One Response to “How Not to Provide Great Service”

  1. Kyle said:

    Jul 28, 08 at 10:27 am

    I’ve had similar experiences. I find it quite annoying when there seems to be such a disconnect between employees and customers.