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Behave like a customer, or be doomed to failure

Is sub-standard customer service the norm in Australia? One business owner says yes, and that it’s only a matter of time until the businesses who are lacking in this key area experience failure.

I’ve been spoilt. And it’s my own fault. I ventured to the other side, and by gosh the grass is greener. And now my view is forever tainted by that greenness, so much so that I’m now seeing red.

You see, I’ve now experienced customer service in the US and Australia is poor by comparison. My standards for customer service have always been high, but now I’ve experienced what service can be in the US, I’m appalled by what is offered in Australia more and more.

Over Easter we spent some time in Port Fairy, enjoying a relaxing break. My customer service experience at a local cafe was poor, really poor. And I’ve had enough.

Hospitality in Australia is seen as stop gap for high school kids and uni students on their way to better things, and is not promoted as a career. It’s a stop gap, until something more suitable is available. Why, oh why, is more credence not given to this industry as a fulfilling career? Simple; the majority of business owners suck at customer service themselves.

Now, to be fair, I would never enter the hospitality industry as a business owner, as it’s not in my nature. I love being a customer at my local café, but just because I love it, doesn’t mean I will one day open my own cafe. Please note people, just because it’s fab being a customer, this doesn’t mean being the owner is what you’re cut out to be.

Aussies are seemingly “willing” to accept sub-standard customer service. Thus, these sub-standard operators continue in business until world economics points to a downturn. Then these operators are generally the first to go.

Granted, other factors also come into play, but that is not my point. Customers who become raving fans of a business “love” the customer service, and generally everything else, about the business. Regardless of economic conditions, this clientele will always remain.

We are all in the service business, even if you’re selling products. It’s all about the service folks. And don’t you think it’s about time we demanded higher standards and stopped settling for poor customer service? Vote with your wallets and take a stand.

No one is perfect, but if you’re not going to focus on brilliant customer service, don’t bother setting up shop; you’re doomed to eventually fail.

What do you think?

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Alycia Edgar

Alycia Edgar

Alycia Edgar is a fully qualified accountant, systems specialist and small business owner who developed Bookzkeeper, an accounting solution for small businesses and their accountants. It is her mission to provide business owners with a greater return on the time invested in their business and tell the story behind their numbers. Find Alycia tweeting at <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/alyciaedgar">@alyciaedgar</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/bookzkeeper">@bookzkeeper</a>.

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