Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Did Your Mama Teach You That ? there's a topic that has been bugging me lately and I need to get it off my chest. Manners or a lack of manners, I should say. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been researching health insurance plans. South Dakota is limited in the number of health insurance carriers for one thing so we're limited in the ones that we can even check out. When I did an internet search on some of the best selling companies, I found complaints on every one of these companies about their customer service. Rude personnel answering the phones, failure to pay claims, customers have to jump through all kinds of hoops to get a claim processed, etc. Wow, what is a person to do? It has been a pretty discouraging process to go through. I find it sad that the "front line" personnel at these companies are rude. When a person or family has had a medical situation, involving the need for doctor intervention, that is the time that they need customer service agents to help them with their questions....not throw up road blocks.

Here at the resort there have been two different situations where I have felt "invisible". I've gone into the office twice, for information, and both times have been ignored for an inordinately long time before someone would ask if they could help me. The second time I went in the office, I got tired of a group of the employees carrying on a conversation while I was standing there that I sought out another employee in a nearby office to help me. Of all times that customers should feel "valued" and employees should be attentive to customers needs, it is now. Companies are facing dire economic struggles and only the strong will survive.

We have talked to some of our fellow workamper friends to see if something we've experienced is isolated to only us or if they experience it too. That being the failure of campground owners or management to reply to applicants about their application for employment. We haven't had any campground, that we've applied to, respond about the outcome of the positions or thanking us for applying, etc. Even when we've considered a position, that we were offered but ultimately turned down, we called the manager and told him that we wouldn't be interested in the position. No games....told them we would think about the offer and get back to them within the week and we did just that. It should be just that easy for a manager or owner to do and it is the respectful thing to do. I think the failure to have any type of follow-up speaks volumes about the company. From talking to our friends, this is a common practice and not just an isolated incident.

Hmmmm, so where have all the good manners gone ? Has a fast paced marketplace created overworked, under-appreciated and rude service personnel ? Have these employees forgotten that they work in a "service" industry ? I think it is a pervasive problem today but one that customers will not tolerate. Our dollars decide whether we will do business with companies such as these. In a dynamic market, where only the strong will survive, companies cannot afford to have their "front line" people (who create the first impression for the customer)be rude and impersonal.

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