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Customer service a mere label


DEVERE E. MURRELL

Customer service a mere label

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I HAVE TO SAY that Minister Donville Inniss always seems to be able to say the right sounding things at the right times, but very little ever seems to result – perhaps not his fault.

I am referring to his recent address to a gathering on international standards at which he made a clarion call for better customer service. 

Come on, Mr Minister, surely by now you know that “customer service” is a sign which you see in supermarkets and establishments which pride themselves on doing “the fashionable thing”, but that is as far as it goes.

My experiences, like so many Bajans and visitors, have been many and unmemorable.

Just the most recent was visiting the food court at a popular mall to purchase some favourite baked goods for my wife. I went up to the counter and said to the attendant: “Good morning, may I have a pretzel, please.” She continued to change the cash register paper roll without so much as a flicker of recognition. Finished that task, opened the container with the pretzels, bagged one, pushed it at me, received my cash, gave me back the change and moved away without saying a word.

This is Bajan customer service at its normal, everyday best. I will say this, I will continue to buy from that place but never when that lady is on duty. 

Oh, yes, sometimes you find a gem of a person who stands out from among the rest and you feel you have hit the jackpot. Like the staff at Sagicor and a few at the Rubis petrol station in St Philip, to identify some.

The Father of Independence once likened the Civil Service to “an army of occupation”. I am afraid that can now be said of most establishments in Barbados which offer “customer service”.

– DEVERE E. MURRELL 

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