CUSTOMER CARE IN MALTA – A NON-EXISTENT CONCEPT?

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Professional customer care helps build customer loyalty and it can do wonders for word-of-mouth advertising. So why do most Maltese companies and governmental entities overlook it?

There are no words to describe how angry I get when I spend half an hour on the phone trying to get my point across… or worse, trying to get someone to speak to me. There are also no words to express how frustrated sales people who don’t smile make me.

In a world where hundreds of thousands of companies are fighting for my money, you’d think the least they could do is offer a service with a smile, and answer my queries whenever I have any.

But, no.

Call Centres – The telephone was an invention with the intention of bringing people closer, but it has now become one that has had many people on the verge of trashing their surroundings out of sheer exasperation. Is it really that difficult to answer the phone? Is it really that difficult to find someone other than a machine to talk to? God only knows how much time I’ve wasted listening to cheesy tunes as I waited for someone to tell me that they couldn’t help me. My only regret is buying a cordless phone – cause I would’ve hanged myself a long time ago…

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Brick & Mortar Shops – ‘Good morning’, ‘come again’ and ‘thank you’ are phrases that we’ve seemingly forgotten and I can’t handle it anymore. Do I really need to go up to some unsuspecting shop assistant and point out that I’m there to spend my money? I could have gone to the other shoe shop or bought stuff online. I didn’t. I came to your shop. SMILE AT ME AND BE CIVIL, DAMN IT!

Restaurants – You always know it’s going to be an enjoyable meal when you ask for the gluten-free margherita that’s listed on the menu and the waiter says it’s not available. I mean, seriously, how many people have gluten-free pizzas on one given night? Five? How many did the restaurant have? My guess is zero. But so long as they get people through the door, it’s all well and good. That’s not how it works, buddies. If you put it on the permanent menu, it should always be available. If it’s not, please advise me as soon as you hand me the menu.

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Government Workers – The inefficiency here can sometimes border on the legendary. You call a department at 10am, and by 12.59pm you’re still being transferred from one hapless person to another until they either stop answering the phone OR (my favourite) someone tells you, ‘Sas-siegħa naħdmu aħna. Ċempel għada.’ (‘We only work till one. Call back tomorrow.’) Two hours and still no closer to getting what you needed… from the people who should be there to serve the public. God.

What bugs me the most, however, is constantly feeling like I’m asking for favours, even when I’m clearly forking out cash for a supposedly good service! Smiling, being welcoming and being helpful cost no money, but they can retain a client for years, and it’s high time companies and shops realised that I don’t owe them my loyalty.

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I, for one, am very proud to say that my loyalty, at least, when it comes to eating out, buying clothes, etc., is for sale. And yours should be too. It is, after all, our hard-earned money that we’re talking about, and we shouldn’t give it away to people who don’t appreciate it.

 

Do you agree with Evelyn? Let us know in the comment section below.

Also, read about the super rich and the middle class.

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