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Columns : Opinions - Joye Ritchie Greene Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Spit out the gum, then talk to me
By Joye Ritchie-Greene
Oct 30, 2008 - 2:05:40 PM

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We have gotten so used to poor service that when we do receive good service we are shocked and pleased at the same time. Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good so often that we forget how to respond to good service.

Recently, the Chamber of Commerce held its annual banquet at which time it showered accolades and gifts on various individuals and businesses for exemplary service. These individuals were selected because of excellence in terms of ethics, service, attitude and productivity.

There is a best and worse week in Hollywood fashion that is published in the local dailies. This entertainment piece usually highlights celebrities who have made a faux pas in their attire. Perhaps we should begin highlighting some of those persons who go out of their way each day or week to make your experience as a customer the “worse/best week ever.”

A “worse week ever” for me would be those individuals who call you over to their window or approach you while they are speaking on a cellular phone. A “worse week ever” is having a person maneuver a piece of gum around her tongue while speaking to you. And a definite “worse week ever” is having a person talk to you and continue a conversation with a co-worker at the same time.

These sort of incidences happen far too often, so when I do receive good service I am pleasantly surprised. In fact, when I receive good service I will go back to that establishment over and over. I reward good service with loyalty. And this is what any good business would want.

I was not surprised to read that Regional Air won an award for the best small business, because they do offer top class service to their customers. I use this air service on a regular basis and I can say unequivocally that the staff at this airline has always been courteous, professional and very helpful.

From the friendly smiles you receive at the check-in counter to the coffee mugs you might get if there aren’t anymore Styrofoam cups to use for their delicious coffee; they definitely put the s in customer service.

When I moved to this island a few years ago, it took me two years to find a hair stylist with whom I felt comfortable and who gave me the level of service I expected. I am now a loyal customer who will follow her to either end of the island, because I don’t just want my hair cut or styled, but I want her to do it.

And, this is what happens when we receive good service. We become loyal customers. It is the comfort level we develop with this individual or individuals in an organization that keeps us going back. We may be able to receive the service somewhere else that may be more accessible or more economical, but it is no longer just the specific service we want, but rather the relationship that develops out of this service.

I am guilty however of not giving kudos where they are deserved and I use this opportunity to say thanks to the staff at Regional Air and Nikki’s Golden Comb for their personal touch. We tend to harp on the negative aspects of service and forget sometimes to highlight those persons who make life a little easier because of their excellent service.

Over the years, people have chosen to not put their money in a certain bank or not send their children to a certain school because of poor customer service. Gone are the days when we do not have a choice about which airline to take to Nassau or where to purchase petrol for our vehicles.

If you want to keep the customers you have and gain new ones in the process perhaps you need to examine what businesses like Regional Air and Nikki’s Golden Comb are doing. It’s one thing to have a long line waiting outside your establishment because you are a convenience. But it’s another thing to have people cueing up because they are willing to wait just for your service.

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Opinions - Joye Ritchie Greene
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