Home / Customer service on a chessboard : who is king?

Customer service on a chessboard : who is king?

The customer is always right ?

customerservice.wordleThis age old saying always struck me as being an accepted truth, especially when I was on the side of the service giver. I never understood why the customers had to be right when I most certainly knew they weren’t. Customer service is very tricky, as word of mouth travels faster than the truth would have time to open its eyes. Even though customer service has had time to develop and get better since it first surfaced in the 1960’s, it stays somehow blurred.

Difficult customers always made me want to overthrow the king: the client! Yet they always stayed in power, they were always right because they would stay loyal if satisfied. You know the types that don’t hesitate to mistreat waiters or complain about every single thing. Those that want the management called for the slightest thing and those that create drama where there isn’t the need.  We must admit, it isn’t easy tending to the needs of different people and customer service is a delicate subject . Therefore, I thought it would be nice to shed light on this age old saying that puts the client on a throne as a king that should be served. Not to say that customer service shouldn’t be at the height of the clients expectations but that the client should be reasonable as well.

Power struggle !customerservice_smile

That being said however it doesn’t mean that the client should accept everything serviced isn’t it?

It took me quite a while to subtly put this in words, without having to point any fingers or hurt anyone’s feelings for that matter. Without dropping any names, I decided to align the words to better understand the whole customer service principles.  It all started with one particular place I was introduced too for the great deals offered. On top of the constant flow of customers through their doors, what intrigued me the most was the number of employees they had, pretty much a one to one ratio. But my astonishment hadn’t stopped there, to my surprise they were all idle. Waiting, not once but on several accounts to be served had done it for me. I had started having ideas that my skin color was an issue, until I snapped myself back to the twenty first century. It took me a few days to say something about it, and what triggered it was when others were being served before me when technically I had arrived before.

I had turned the situation many times in my head before saying a word, and I had even looked the lady who took my order in the eyes as if to give her a sign, a reminder that I was still waiting, in vain ! Her stares looked right through me, as if I was non existent or invisible. If I had half a brain I would have caused a scene, told her what she needed to hear and left the place with my bobas and a refund. But that didn’t happen, yet…I politely asked what was wrong with my order and she completely ignored I was in front of her desperately trying to attract her attention with my waving hands. No drama was created but I sure told her. Even though the customers who were served ahead of me agreed of the unfairness of the situation, hearing her plea felt redundant and more like the tears of a crocodile. I left the place never to set foot in it again.



The battle is won but the war was on !

Maybe those around me and those on Yelp that have berated the place for their poor customer service (let me correct myself, the non existent customer service) will not go back to them for bobas but I sure miss it. Every time we go to Costco’s to shop or every time we pass by, I am more than tempted and would likely do anything for a sip of some boba. However, my head was decided, and it would be the end of me if I ever set foot there. Captive of my own desires to forgive their poor customer service, to forget that I as a client was queen no more or better yet a customer that gave absolution, but no ! It wouldn’t be fair to anyone else who went through the same kind of situation or would in the future so I boycotted that place against my deepest will . I kept telling myself it was for a greater cause ! 

It almost seems as if there is a constant power struggle between customers and service providers, or even a conflict of interest between the two. When it is given deeper thought though, this could seem somewhat contradictory as both have complimentary needs. Though this particular story is of a restaurant and its poor customer service, the idea is not that the customer is always right, that the customer is king or that customer service should be redefined. The idea is that power is on the customer’s side of the chessboard nevertheless. The product should speak for itself without ignoring customer service.

If customers not only spoke out but acted on  their dissatisfaction more often, regarding the poor quality of their food, GMO’s, antibiotics, privatization of water and land grabs then the products and/or services will eventually improve. Checkmate !

About Christine Yohannes

Born and raised in Ethiopia, outgoing and active. Writing since a very young age, she wants her creative side to have a purpose and use it to get messages across the globe. Expresses herself through her slam poetry and addresses the World through her writing.

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