Is Customer Service Going To Hell In A Hand Basket? | TravelResearchOnline


Is Customer Service Going To Hell In A Hand Basket?

I pride myself as being an upbeat, self-motivated, make-it-happen type of guy. In fact, my business card labels me as a “Motivational Speaker,” so I must be squared away more often than not.

I am also a seasoned realist: a guy who has been around the bases more than once and who has developed the skill of spotting a creep from down the block. I am a student of the customer service game and not much gets by me. I am good!

This week alone, four organizations entered my world and rapidly positioned themselves in need of a “customer service” transfusion. In each case I was prepared to make the contents of my wallet lighter with each of these companies being the beneficiary.

Disappointment is not the right word: incredible disenchantment better sums up my experience. Why do so many people fail to understand how this game is played? Can we blame it on their parents, their teachers, the economy, local regulations, the church they do or don’t frequent, the sports team they follow, the books they do or don’t read? What? Can anybody shed some light on this? I am confused to no end.

So as not to ruin this fine day I will cut to the chase without bringing these establishments down in a fire-ball of negative angst. Let it suffice to say they involve a nursery, an eye-doctor, an insurance agency, and a paving company. It appears that a single industry does not have the lousy representation department cornered.

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The sad news (based on over 40-years of street-savvy experience) is that the people who need to read this article are out making bad first impressions. You (who are still reading) probably have this thing already figured out.

Here are my top ten suggestions to avoid my writing about you in future columns:

  1. If you are speaking to me, be interested in what I have to say.
  2. Look me in the eye more than once during every 10-minute conversation. (Passing glances don’t count.)
  3. Answer the phone as if I have the power to pay your next light bill.
  4. When you do answer the phone, stop doing what you were doing prior to answering the phone.
  5. Don’t tell me something simply for the sake of making me smile.
  6. Do what you say you will do. (You might like this one and hopefully make it a habit.)
  7. Call me back … sooner rather than later.
  8. After you “made the sale” treat me like you are still trying to “make the sale.”
  9. Don’t assume that I am as smart as you are. (We are a team and we both have our strong suites.)
  10. Keep me on your “touch-base list” after our deal has been consummated.

So there you have it. If you want to join the growing numbers of lousy businesses who are quick with their excuses as to why customers drive them mad, you don’t have to work too hard.

If you want to position yourself on the other hand as something special in a marketplace that is in need for somebody special, then reread my top ten list. It just may be as easy as that.

I’m Mike Marchev, and I promise to continue bad-mouthing lousy service. It just doesn’t have to be that way.

Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at

Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

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