Trick Or Treat Customer Service

This past weekend I took my 2007 Kia Spectra to Tire Kingdom to get my rear brake pads replaced. I also asked the friendly attendant if they could repair the wire connections that caused my air conditioning system to not work.

I had already taken off the glove compartment and unscrewed the damaged part so it was visible to the attendant. It was obvious that the part needed repair:

The friendly attendant said: “We would have to run an a/c system diagnostics test first.”

Excuse me? The wires are NOT connected. No diagnostics test necessary!

“Ma’am, I know, I could fix this for you on the side, but Tire Kingdom’s policy is that we have to run a systems check before we do any work there.”


What a horrible policy. Just in time for Halloween, I suppose.

Cheri Baker is right – good service can’t be scripted. 

Still frustrated about idiotic policies, I walked over to IHOP (International House of Pancakes) to get breakfast.

“Hello, my name is Katrina and I will be your server today. One of our specials is….” [blah blah]

Whatever happened to real customer service? Not the kind of service that leaves you feeling sorry for the waiter/waitress who acts like a servant and seems afraid of … afraid of what or whom?

Maybe the ghastly ghosts of Halloween. Or maybe the company that considers human resources just that… resources, mind- and emotionless… expendable zombies.

Where do you draw the line for you and your team?

● critical thinking and employee autonomy   vs.   policies and rules

● authenticity   vs.   scripted service

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