The times they are a changin, well put Mr. Dylan.
Gone of the days of taking customers/clients/patients/guests for granted, complacency has left the building.
But there are still a lot of companies (large multinationals being the main culprits) of still under valuing their client base.
Yesterday I met a friend who told me about an incident in a local Galway restaurant who took over 15 minutes to serve her in an empty restaurant. This was after she and her friend had finished their gossiping session, and probably feeling the glares from my friend in the back of her head. Now my friend told me, I am telling you (but with no names mentioned!), she herself has told at least 25 other people in work, who would normally go there for their coffee break too. So very quickly these two waitresses have managed to lose not only one but more loyal customers.
I do not agree with the term that the client is always right, as there are situations where obviously this is not the case. But heavens above, are things not bad enough with footfall, turnover, increasing rates etc. to add to the melting pot.
It really does not take much, a smile, thank you when people come into your premises (on or offline), buy something, or simply ask a question.
Thank you really does go a long way, if you did not read my article on handwritten cards, it covers off a simple process to add to your marketing/customer service mix.
I hworked London and America for GAP and Marks and Spencer, and the processes that these players have in place are amazing, but the skills that I learnt from them stand the test of time.