Lower my standards?

One of my good friends from the 1980’s was an epidemiologist (epi).  Epi’s are pretty picky about data and numbers.  She had a bumper sticker in her office that read: ‘when all else fails, lower your standards’

That is how I am feeling about customer service these days. I have no choice but to ‘lower my standards’.

I do realize that service providers have a lot on their plate:

  • COVID fears and reality
  • Staff shortages
  • Supply chain issues
  • Cranky customers (some who refuse to wear masks)
  • Our recent bout of snow and ice
  • And I am sure the list goes on!

But in my opinion, the surly and often incompetent service we continually experience is somewhat beyond the pale.  Our son-in-law says that service has been deteriorating for some time and the pandemic has served to accelerate the process.

Here is an article from INC that says using COVID 19 as an excuse for bad customer service should no longer be an option at this point.

Companies were bad at the basics long before the pandemic. Companies have been trying to reduce the amount of money it costs them to interact with customers for years. The truth is, the pandemic only highlighted that the way many companies provide customer service has been broken for a long time.

Jason Aten, Tech Columnist, 7/16/2021

We live in an urban area and the pervasive attitude seems to be ‘who cares?’.  In my opinion, most locally owned companies provide much better service. Unfortunately, many of our local businesses aren’t local anymore.  And they don’t have the same commitment to the community or the customers. I wonder if customer service might be better in smaller communities where there is less anonymity?

Many large companies have a value around customer service, but they don’t seem to really walk their talk. I frequently get a customer satisfaction survey after a service.  Does anybody even use that information for improvement?

I’ve tried very hard to excuse bad behavior, but my fuse is getting short.  My only request is that service providers are polite and halfway competent.  I have no expectation that people go the extra mile, Nordstrom style, but:

  • just show up,
  • don’t be surly, and
  • do your job!

But my biggest request is that businesses plow some of their profits into customer service providers to take the heat of the current overworked crew. And then they need to find competent people to hire in the midst of the ‘great resignation’! Good luck with that!

My fear is that good customer service is in our rear-view mirror and my lowered standards due to the pandemic may need to be permanent ☹.


P.S. Happy birthday to our darling granddaughter who is 17 today!


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