It’s no wonder

Is anything more important than customer service?

I was in the airport this morning and had some time to kill. I walked up to a place that sold smoothies, and wondered why no one else was in line. The two stores next to the Smoothie place (fast food and coffee, respectively) had winding lines.

I approached the young lady working there and asked her if they sold Acai smoothies. She gave an almost imperceptible nod – shyly, as if I correctly guessed the color of her undergarments and asked for confirmation. I smiled as I prepared myself for the conversation that would come next. Since it was obvious that the young lady detested her own employment, I diligently scoured the menu for the the Acai smoothies so I could complete my transaction with a minimum of friction (communication).

I was unable to locate the section, so I asked her how the smoothies in question were sold. Without opening her mouth, she leaned across the counter and pointed to a display sign advertising the Acai smoothies. Somewhat helpful, thanks. At this point, I strongly considered leaving. I had to decide whether or not my patience could take the final leg of the transaction.

I ordered the smoothie and it was great, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how awful her customer service skills were. I won’t be back, under any circumstances. Instead of me recommending them to my friend and readers, I’m posting this entry on how unpleasant my experience was.

Looking back, I can’t imagine why people weren’t lining up for smoothies.

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.

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