Why has customer service become so superficial?

Over the weekend just gone, I thought I’d treat myself with some shopping. I’m not a huge shopper but I do like to go every now and then. But something I’ve noticed more and more is the inane questions you get asked!

I walked into a women’s clothes store and was greeted by a perky sales assistant. She was lovely from the outset, but her questions were bordering on idiotic. “What are you up to this weekend?” “How’d you go?” Let’s be honest, they don’t care about your outfit or your weekend! And hey, I’m not expecting they do, but it’s just that superficial voice and attitude they put on that makes you feel a little sad about the state of customer service.

I remember going into a department store or even your local women’s clothing shop and the attendant being genuinely interested in where you were from and what your style was. They were happy to look for outfits with you and give you an honest opinion. Now I feel like because I don’t fit into the under 25 category (once you cross over, they never take a second look at you, you may as well by 90!), I get the stock standard “she’s too old for these clothes, so we’ll work around it by assuming she wants a sack” – at least that’s what their tone implies!

Even outside the shopping mall there’s lost opportunities for customer service everywhere. The other day I saw a woman ask to have her baby bottle warmed up at McDonald’s and the look on the staff member’s face was one of sheer annoyance. How dare a paying customer ask for you to put something in the microwave for 20 seconds!

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And what about when you go to the bakery? I used to love going in to get my loaves and having a chat to the ladies. Now I get a teenager who clearly wants to be elsewhere who never remembers my order, despite seeing me every few days. It’s either she has the memory of the goldfish or she just doesn’t want to go the extra mile.

I fear the day when we live in a world where we’ll be faced with a robot or machine is coming up far too quickly – but we all know just how important it was to have those smiling, genuine faces.


Tell us, do you miss the days when everyone know your name and you could have a good chat at the shops?