2017-08-11 / Commentary

Surveying Customer Service

It’s not a criticism; It’s an observation
Mike Cox

While standing in line at the drug store, I noticed this sign taped to the register. Actually, there were two identical signs; one on each register. Maybe more on the other registers I couldn’t see from where I stood patiently waiting.

A lady in front of me was also waiting for a prescription to be filled. Two pharmacists seemed to be having trouble with her order. As we stood there, a lady walked up to the consultation window. A solitary elderly lady was serving the drive-through window with all the speed and gusto of a DMV veteran. She was the only other employee behind the pharmacy counter.

I was at that particular drug store because the branch closest to my house had been unable to fill the eye drop prescription I had called in two days earlier. They still hadn’t received the product to fill my prescription.

When I called earlier this day, and the shipment still wasn’t there, I wondered aloud why this took so long. As if it just occurred to her, the lady at the drug store asked if I would like her to call the nearest branch and see if they had the drops I needed. Wondered why that wasn’t done two days before.

That’s why I was standing in line at the new store, waiting way too long for service. I realize it was a Saturday near lunchtime. I also realize the medical health industry is having a hard time making money these days.

Costs for commercials advertising some new cure for an ailment most of us didn’t even know we had must cost a fortune. But it still seemed like the store was lacking a good bit in customer service.

That’s why the signs on the registers were so ironic. Each one said they really loved getting 5’s on their surveys so we should please remember that and give them all 5’s when we filled out our customer survey.

At a time when businesses all over the country are reducing employees to increase profit, they now strive for good customer service by enticing customers to give them high marks on surveys rather than actually giving good customer service.

This scenario unfolded less than a week after Terry and I ventured into Chicago for a few days of baseball and good, clean fun. During our return flight home, we were stranded in Detroit for several hours, listening to conflicting explanations about our delay, along with endless, sincere apologies. During that entire time, we were able to watch our plane sitting at the gate, not being repaired.

Late in the afternoon, folks bound for Rochester began arriving at our gate. After a bit of confusion, we were told to go to their gate, which was next door, and catch our replacement plane, which had been the original plane to Rochester.

Still not sure what actually transpired, but I know three things. One, the folks heading to Rochester flew out on our plane while we flew out on their plane. Two, they took off before us. And three, there was a survey waiting for me when I got home.

Guess how many 5’s they’re getting.

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