Customers Expect and Get Less

Aug 08, 2002

Consumers have been conditioned to expect less and they’re getting it according to a John Malmo column on

The columnist asserts that customer service is a term that no longer applies in most businesses. What has brought this situation about? According to Mr. Malmo, the demise of customer-focused organizations can be directly linked to more relaxed and employee-friendly workplaces.

Mr. Malmo cites casual attire as a case in point. “Casual-dress Fridays have led to daily casual dress that is reflected in casual work attitudes. Employees are casual about working hours and their responsibilities. Customers, as well as co-workers, are treated casually.”

Moderator’s Comment: Do you agree that customer service
has become nearly extinct? If yes, what do you see as the causes for this? What
are the remedies for addressing the situation?

In our experience, relaxed does not equate with lackadaisical.
It’s not the uniform that matters.

The keys to creating a culture of customer service are
straight forward. Employees need to understand fully what is expected of them.
Management needs to communicate clearly and directly to team members while providing
them with the training and tools essential to meeting those expectations. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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