Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Customer service is dead:

...every window of the CVS I visited exclaimed the incredible extras I could receive if I darkened their doorstep. This included, not surprisingly, EXTRA SERVICE....


But hold on a second there bucko…* What exactly is their description of “extra” service? Turns out it is “prescriptions ready when promised!” When promised? I hate to break it to you, CVS, but that is not “extra” service. That is service. If you tell me you are going to do something and then you do it–that’s it. You’ve fulfilled your promise–anything less and you’ve fallen short.

That’s like saying that if I buy a candy bar and there is actually a candy bar inside the wrapper, that I’ve gotten extra candy! It’s a sad state of affairs when we not only mistake basic competence for superior service, but we actually accept this as an advertising ploy that might draw us into the store.

I typically respond to customer service claims (such as Target's exhortations to be "fast, fun and friendly" with the rejoinder that if I were the management, I'd work on "competent" first. Clearly we're lowering the bar by declaring competence to be "extra."

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