Where Did It Go?

Customer service is vital to the survival of any business. Our philosophy at Winnwood Retirement is customer-service based. Taking care of our residents, families and employees is our number one mission. Smiling and helping people has transcended three generations from my grandfather and grandmother, to my uncle and father, then to my cousins and myself.

You may be wondering why I am writing about good customer service. I have been witnessing a trend where many businesses’ customer service is lackluster at best. Do we need to start teaching college students a class called “Smiling” or “Helping a customer”? Maybe so. I also ask myself what has happened to managers. Where is the training?

Like many of you, I have to get sinus medication from behind the counter at the pharmacy (this is another whole column).  Recently, I went into a local Marietta pharmacy to purchase some. Well there were two pharmacists behind the counter working and I was the only one in line. I thought, hey this should be easy.  Right. After two minutes one of them finally asked me what I wanted. Wow.  “Sinus medication, please,” I said. Well, even though the pharmacist was standing right next to the medication, he paged someone else in the store to help me! I was like Ok, no problem, but no one ever showed up to help me! The pharmacists kept working on something more important than the customer in their line of sight.  They never looked at me again and let me remind you I was the ONLY person at their counter. They had no desire to help me, be nice to me, or look at me. It was mind blowing! I finally said, “You know what? I will take my business elsewhere.” One said, “What was it you needed?” Really!!! You get my point here. There is no excuse for bad customer service.

I know people are busy sometimes and I understand things slip thru the cracks, but one thing customers do is share their experiences with friends, family and coworkers. I will probably give the pharmacy the benefit of the doubt and go back, but many people I know would probably not go back. I certainly know if the staff at Winnwood ignored a resident or potential customer they would probably move out or not move in at all. “Treat people how you want to be treated,” Dad has always said. Maybe some people misinterpret that statement today.  No one is perfect but customer service is KING. I think I am going to write a book called “Being Nice to People.” It could be the next computer game parents let their kids play after some of those bloody video games!! Also, maybe some CEO’s would learn good customer service and that leadership comes from the top down and not from the bottom up!

Have a great week!

John