Henry Ford and Dale Carnegie, some of the greatest business minds that ever lived, made it a point to fill their companies with dedicated and friendly workers in order to make their businesses thrive. Of course, Ford and Carnegie died a long time ago and with them, the golden days of good customer service.
The practice of “the customer is always right” is dead. Employees no longer extend beyond their training to aid customers if the tasks at hand aren’t straight from the book, and good employee-customer relations are almost nonexistent.
Poor business dealings have become an epidemic, running rampant through the United States for the past 10 years or more. Philadelphia and Temple are no exception.
The Rite Aid on Broad and Susquhanna streets is a haven for employee rudeness. Many times when customers bring items to the checkout counter, the cashier – deadpanned and disinterested – will not say how much is owed, but expects the customer to read it on the register screen while impatiently waiting for the money. How is the customer supposed to know the bill if the cashier doesn’t say it? Similar occurrences were no stranger to the Rite Aid’s next door neighbor, the recently demolished McDonald’s (I wonder why).
Great deception has been taking place at the Freshens Smoothie Company in the university’s Student Center. The employees get a tremendous kick out of leading their customers to believe that they’ve included the protein booster into the drinks when, in reality, they’ve done no such thing. Perhaps there is no better time to see customer service at its worst than during the fourth meal hours at the Student Center. Many students have experienced the anguish of ordering quesadillas at Taco Bell, just to be told by an employee that the quesadilla machine is broken, while a co-worker can be seen surreptitiously eating one in the back.
Unfortunately, this poor employee behavior isn’t arising out of nowhere. Many of the aforementioned jobs fall victim to poor working conditions and mistreatment from supervisors and employers. And as if that isn’t bad enough, poor treatment comes from the customers as well; hence, the blame can’t be going one way. When customers don’t get what they want, exactly the way they want it, attitudes flare up quickly. In this case, it’s difficult to blame some of these employees for behaving the way they do.
A key factor to restoring Ford and Carnegie’s ideals of profitable business relations is for U.S. consumers to value employees more. If this happens, workers won’t resent customers so much. After all, the customers’ patronage is what enables the workers to be paid. That’s why the customer is always right.