After waiting patiently in a big box store for at least 30 minutes without seeing hide nor hair of a service person... After being told repeatedly by people that obviously worked in the store "sorry, but this isn't my department, someone will be along to help you"... After finally being helped by a bored and seemingly humourless customer service rep, who seemed to do the absolute minimum required to help, I am left wondering, oh customer service, where have you gone?
I can see it dwindling in the place I work too, where coworkers go out of their way to say "I'm not on client service today, I can't help people" "It's not my day" or "it's not my job". I see the frustrated look on the client's face - they only came here to ask for what we said we would provide. They're not asking us to go out of our way to help them - and in fact, we're getting paid TO help them, so why do we act like it's such an inconvenience???
I'm not sure if this is a symptom of an individualistic world, where we can tune others out using our technologies, or whether this is a symptom of the commodification of everything, or whether it's merely apathy, but I do think that if we fail to service our customers, we will lose them. They will find what they want elsewhere for a better price (probably the Internet, because if they're not getting service ANYWAY, they might as well shop where there isn't any) and we stand to lose our reason d'etre. And so customer service apathy is a dangerous trap to fall into.
It sounds cheesy, but if we simply CARE for other people in small ways on a day to day basis, then customer service isn't even an issue. I challenge everyone to care a little more today - at work or elsewhere, and see what comes of it.