VERITY LUSH: We should praise excellent customer service

Verity Lush

Customer service can make or break a business – or at least, the local reputation of it.

We have a tendency sometimes to only ever comment about poor service, which is perhaps because we are so incensed by it, and therefore are suitably motivated to complain.

However, how often do we praise excellent service?

Some friends and I have recently been incredibly impressed by the customer service at the new Costa in Portsmouth’s Ocean Retail Park.

I don’t think I’ve ever known a team who are so resolutely cheerful and chatty. It’s akin to popping round to your local.

You are remembered, asked after and always greeted with a smile.

When you consider the fact that Costa itself has been rather remiss in the blind-fitting department (when the sun is at a particular angle, both staff and customers risk vision damage), the excellence of the customer service is even more impressive.

I think I’d have had my sunglasses on behind the counter in protest by now, and an ultra-grumpy face.

But that couldn’t be further from the reality of their staff.

I have also received wonderful service at the newly-refurbished Currys and PCWorld – also at Ocean Retail Park.

Until recently this was a place I avoided unless I was either in need of paint or the kids dragged me to Toys R Us.

Kirsty Smith, retail manager, and her team were second to none when I recently visited and it’s service like this that keeps you going back.

The cynical will say that this is exactly why staff are friendly, but of course it is.

Although, having worked in retail myself when I was younger, I can also confirm that it’s extremely hard to keep smiling when you’re the messenger who is getting shot on behalf of the company you work for.

It takes some skill and patience to get the best out of customers and, whilst I do try to shop local, that’s not always possible.

Nor does ‘local’ keep as many people in jobs, and sometimes you also have to follow your bank balance and not your ideals.

HE’S ENTITLED TO HIS OPINION, BUT THEN SO ARE OTHER PEOPLE

How refreshing to hear that Ewan McGregor pulled out of an interview with Piers Morgan based on the latter’s derisive comments regarding feminism and women daring to march against Donald Trump.

It never ceases to amaze me that people who essentially win the vote, and get who they want in government, then suggest that everybody else just shuts up and gets on with it.

These are often the same people who only comment about anything if it’s to moan anyway, never praising any positives, and may as well be branded with the word ‘hypocrite’ across their foreheads.

Just as Morgan is entitled to his opinion, so he’d do well to accept that others are perfectly entitled to stand up for theirs.

WITH A JOB, TWO SMALL KIDS AND HOUSEWORK, HAIL THE BOX SET

The amount of great dramas on TV at the moment is incredible. Taboo, Apple Tree Yard, Unforgotten, The Halcyon and the like.

Well, make the most of it. For if memory serves, the BBC and ITV have a tendency to overdose us all on telly during January, dwindling off in February, until then starving us until next December.

I assume this is because everyone hibernates around Christmas and throughout winter, but that – according to the TV people – we then all commence busy social lives and spend our time outdoors engaged in active pursuits.

Well, not round these here parts, where two small children, a job and housework have me on the sofa by 7.30pm most nights.

All hail the box set.

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