Sunday, May 22, 2011

Names changed to protect the guilty.......

My brother recently wrote about customer service, or the lack thereof, on his blog:

http://johnhwalker.blogspot.com/2011/05/whatever-happened-to-customer-service.html

For the past couple of days, I've been dealing with my own frustrations regarding this diminishing role in our ever-changing society. In many instances, I believe it's either a lack of training, by managment, or a lack of an adequate number of employees on the schedule - again a management issue.

I've been attempting to book a space, in a Virginia RV Park, for the month of July. Many of the RV Parks barter with a handful of campers - camping space for a few hours of work. Often, these "working campers" are more camper than worker ....... meaning that some of the people manning the registration and phones have never worked in an office. A miminal amount of training is also provided.

This was never more evident than my Saturday phone conversation with someone named "Janie", and it seemed to get worse today, Sunday, when I had to talk to "Lucy".

On Saturday, I asked questions about their facilities (in addition to what was already shown on their website), and I told Janie what we needed to accomodate a Motorhome of our size. We discussed the dates that the site would be needed. After going over their online map and discussing various sites, Janie told me "If I were you, I'd take site A66". Sounded like a good deal to me! It was a large, tree-shaded site. Thought we were set. And then came the clunker......"but it's not available". "Really? You're kidding me! We've been through all these sites, and you've made your recommendation - with which I agree - and it isn't available. Tell you what, why don't I call back tomorrow!"

So, today I call again and this time I get Lucy. (And yes, the name did fit.) Once again, I went over what we needed and the dates we expected to be there. Lucy asked if I minded if she put me on hold while she checked to see what was available. Nope, not at all.....please check!

And, on hold I was .........ten minutes (exactly) later I looked at Bob and said "Do you think I should hang up and call back?" So, that I did. This time, someone named Lura answered the phone. I said "Lura, this is Sarah Gorrell, again.....you put me on hold." Her response was "No, that was Lucy, but she had to go to the bathroom." (Did she forget me?) Lura further added "I don't know how to use the phone, so I'm just going to lay it down." (Again, are you kidding me??)

Finally, Lucy returns from the bathroom.....picks up the phone and says "Can I help you?" I respond with "This is Sarah Gorrell, you put me on hold." And, her response was "And what did you need?" I almost screamed my question of "Oh my God, are you kidding me?"

Now, about this time - everyone is wondering what is so special about this RV campground, with its incompetent staff, that would make me continue. It's the fact that our friends are going to be "working campers" (and they do this on a regular basis - so they are qualified) and we want to camp where they camp! (Near the Blue Ridge Parkway where it will, hopefully, be cooler than July in Mississippi!)

They say all's well that ends well, and this finally ended well. Lucy picked up the slack - sent working camper hubby, Shorty, to check out a few sites for us. We have a reservation for the month of July, even though it isn't site A66!

The campground has a large lake for fishing and paddle boats, two swimming pools, an 18 hole miniature golf course, and a water slide. Bob is already looking forward to the water slide. (Just kidding!)

Yep, I think it's more a lack of training than a lack of customer service. Even though Janie, Lucy, and Lura gave me a few more gray hairs .....they WERE very friendly!! (Now, we can hardly wait until July ......gotta' see what these three look like!)
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