Editorial: Questions companies don't want asked

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Customer service sucks.

Perhaps it is more politically correct to say customer service is deplorable or simply unsatisfactory, but given that it is a reoccurring theme of every editorial board to walk through the door, harshness is needed.

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We've tried to write it nice, pointing out businesses that do a good job, and warning other businesses that if customer service attitudes don't change, businesses that do not provide quality customer service will go down.

Maybe you think as a business owner or manager, you're not guilty. But it's time for all of us to re-evaluate the way we do business.

It's time to call a spade a spade, and for the most part, customer service in Craig, and around the U.S., is what it is -- terrible.

Whose fault is it?

Everyone's.

It's the Chamber of Commerce's that should be accountable for not being more forward with its work on customer service. It should be noted that two members of the current editorial board also serve on the Chamber of Commerce's Board, and while talk of action has taken place, the time for lip service is past.

Good intentions and ideas mean nothing if they're not carried out.

It's business owners' and managers' fault for not holding their employees up to a higher customer-service standard. We understand it's hard to hire in this economy, but if business owners were to take a united front and say, "We will not tolerate bad customer service," the couldn't-care-less attitude so many employees seem to exhibit would start to go away.

It's employees fault for not living up to customer service standards; that is, they're not doing the most fundamental part of their job. If you don't like your job, quit. Just don't clock in to make money, treat people poorly and clock out. You choose to work in the establishment you're at. Make a choice to ensure it is the best experience for all involved, including yourself.

It's our fault as consumers for not holding these businesses accountable. Too often, we hear complaints about an area business and how people can't wait for Wal-Mart to open, but have you told a manager at the establishment about your experiences? Do you praise a person when the job is good? Do you stop shopping at a place when you feel your words are falling on deaf ears?

It's the Craig Daily Press' fault. As much as we preach customer service, we know we are not perfect. No one is. But, still we believe in striving for better customer service. Still, we cannot point a finger without looking at ourselves, too.

The editorial board often preaches and believes in the value of shopping local, and, in theory, it is the right way to shop. You're putting money into local businesses, creating a better tax base for the community, helping employ local workers and giving back to the community that gives back to you.

The problem with the theory is many businesses aren't holding up their end of the bargain. The feeling of entering an establishment often comes down to this: That the business is doing you a favor by being open, rather than the way it should be -- you're spending your money in their business, and they should be doing what they can to help you.

The editorial board still believes in the shopping local campaign; it just questions if several businesses are doing what is necessary to make the theory practical. Are we rewarding bad business practices for the sake of shopping local? It's a question that we are asking more often.

Because the fact is this: Too often people have walked into area shops or restaurants and been ignored or not treated with the respect a customer deserves.

And if that doesn't change, then maybe customers should start doing the same -- ignoring local businesses that ignore you.

Let's focus on making customer service a priority. If you notice good customer service, highlight it, and tell the business owner, the manager, or the employee. Word of mouth can kill a business. But it can also build it.

Let's build Craig and on customer service.

It starts with us. It starts with you.

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