Does your staff abuse the customers?


Things are tough all over. Between competitive bidding, the continued crap economy and the general cost of doing business, it's harder then ever to keep those doors open. Which is why, in my humble opinion, service counts. Every last bit of it.

I called a provider today who I used to speak with regularly. It's been a couple of years, mainly because his staff won't take messages—and that's when they can even be bothered to listen to me before hanging up on me.

Today, I took a deep breath and dialed. I pressed 0 for the operator, as instructed. I kid you not, the operator/receptionist/girl answered the phone with an impatient "Whatdoyouwant?!"

Naturally, I hesitated, wondering if I had misunderstood. So she snapped "What?!" At which point, I said "Excuse me?" (insert incredulity here). Then, I tried to ask for Mr. So-and-So. But she had already hung up.

I redialed and hit the number for the HME department. That person was more polite, but he wouldn't get any points for "phone face." He also couldn't be bothered with taking a message.

Well, if that's the way the staff treats people, I wouldn't want to leave a message. I'd be afraid every time I called to do business that someone would yell at me ( and rightly so, apparently). There's plenty of other providers in the sea and abusing customers is just plain wrong (even when some of them deserve it).

I did manage to get in touch with the owner, on his cell. (we reporters are a persistent lot). I debated telling him about my horrible phone experience with his staff, but in the end did not. On the one hand, if it were my company, I'd want to know. But I didn't want to be, ahem, impolite.

Theresa Flaherty
potential customer, but not for you


You may like this. I used to tell ALL my employees to remember I only signed their pay checks but the one that actually PAID them was on the other end of the telephone!