The Art of Customer Service

I don’t want to brag but I had the wonderful experience of spending the last two weeks on vacation with my family. Of course I enjoyed the time I got to spend with everyone but one thing I learned was not everyone is the right fit for a service industry role.  I’m not saying that jobs where you are waiting on people are easy.  The exact opposite actually.  Roles in housekeeping, wait staff and customer service desks are difficult.  You sometimes have to deal with people who are incredibly difficult and you are expected to do it with a smile and be gracious while also upholding the guidelines set by your employer.  That in itself can be an insurmountable task.  I do however feel that customer service is becoming a lost art.  I had a number of experiences where my waiter couldn’t be more annoyed at having to take my order.  I’m not talking about a fast food restaurant (thought I don’t want to be treated like that there either) but this was a higher end formal dining establishment.  I’m on vacation and definitely don’t want to be talked down to or treated with a snippy attitude.  (For the record I don’t want to be treated like this on a non-vacation day either.)

On the flip side I had a handful of people who where the gold standard for customer service.  They really understood how to provide a high level of quality service while also being personable and able to deal with specific requests on the fly.  I had this experience with a few wait staff, our housekeeping consultant and a kids camp counselor.  I was sure to thank them profusely, tip them greatly and most importantly make sure to do a written and verbal recommendation on their service to their managers to ensure the company does whatever they need to do so they don’t loose these employees who are true artists.