You catch more flies with honey

Let me start off by saying there are a lot of wonderful businesses in Chenango County, with employees who know the importance of good customer service. Unfortunately, there are also a few who seem to be inconvenienced by the fact that customers even bother to come in and ask for things.

Recently, Iíve had a few experiences with the latter. I love businesses that go the extra mile Ė those with employees and owners who remember your name, know what products their regular customers are interested in and seem to genuinely want customers to return to their stores. Those business are the ones that I love to frequent as often as possible.

Then there are those where the customer service is so bad that I swear I will never go back in again. Iím not an easily annoyed person, and I understand that every now and then, someone is going to have a bad day. I try not to hold those things against people. Iíve worked in food service and retail jobs before and I know that it can be frustrating and annoying sometimes, so I like to think that I give people a lot more leeway than some would, but there are some instances when it just goes too far.

There are several incidents that stick out in my mind, but perhaps the most annoying of all occurred about a year ago. After having lunch with a friend, the restaurant owner came over to our table and started making small talk. The conversation quickly turned to another acquaintance of ours and the owner eagerly began telling us how much she did not care for the other person, making several rude comments as she proceeded. I was immediately annoyed, but I often have trouble voicing my displeasure, so I sat in shock, as the business owner continued, telling us she often says sheís out of products our acquaintance asks for even if sheís not. I silently vowed never to return to that business.

My other customer service horror stories arenít nearly as bad. However, there have been several others that left me a little surprised and annoyed. I walked into a small town flower shop a few weeks ago and saw the owner run to the counter from the back of the store shaking her head. She quickly told me she was busy with another order that had to be completed in an hour. If I had wanted flowers, I probably wouldnít have gone back, after being turned away before I could even get a few words out.

Maybe I expect too much, but when Iím spending money at a local business, I expect to be met by people who want to see those dollars continuing to flow in. When your business depends on customers coming in and buying goods, you would think being friendly and helpful would be an easy way to encourage people to come back. If you have the knowledge and desire to start a business, it seems like forcing yourself to be friendly to your customers would be the easy part. Maybe Iím wrong, but the businesses that can manage to be friendly and to help their customers are the ones that I will be returning to.

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