The way I see it, customer service will always be an issue under sharp scrutiny.

The issue was brought sharply in focus once again, earlier this week when someone mentioned to me that one of our seniors, who previously lived in England, lamented that he was really disappointed with the level of customer service being meted out to him at various establishments/business places.

The gentleman made it sound like in England, customer service is a top priority and that most persons there are treated with due respect and care.

So what about us? Why and where are we falling short and can the situation be reversed or rectified?

I humbly submit that I do believe that we can step up our game but the first line of training must start in the home where MANNERS are usually taught: “Good morning; good afternoon; please; thank you; you are welcome; excuse me please…”

I don’t want to believe that they are all gone out of style.

Then the follow ups can be done at church and school and in the community at large.

I remember hearing a story about this man who left Nevis for the first time, on a visit to the USA. He came back exclaiming how people in Nevis were so rude and that in the United States of America, even the very doors have MANNERS. He had just had his first experience with the sliding doors that open as you approach them!

Well I newa!

But you get the point-right?

I have had my personal woes. I know that I may have mentioned them before, but it is worth the repetition.

I recall going to this establishment to pay a bill one day and there was this good looking girl at the counter. I said ‘Good morning.’ There was no response. I waited for a few seconds and then much louder, said: ‘Good morning.’

There was absolutely no response. I realized that she appeared to be reading a book and after a few uncomfortable minutes, I figured that maybe she had not heard.

I mustered up the energy to say in a really loud voice ‘good morning!’

Suddenly, the young lady looked up and snapped: “If I don’t say good morning, you aint going to say what you want?”

I was appalled. Nothing looked so ugly like that young woman after her outburst!

Well I newa!

If it was not a bill I was paying, boy I would have left immediately.

The other occasion was a day that I was doing a Taxi gig at a particular tourist hot spot on our island and as I got there, a lady was welcoming some of the guests. She was making an elaborate bow and at the same time saying: “Welcome to Nevis.’

Most of the guests just passed her by, hardly acknowledging her presence. I waited until there was a lull in the activity and I walked towards her and said: Good morning.”

The lady looked skywards and did not answer. I figured that she had not heard. So, I went back out of the door and made another grand entrance, saying quite loudly: “Good morning!”

The woman looked away from me and absolutely said not a word in English!

Well I newa!

I paused long enough to see what would happen when another two tourists passed by her and lo and behold she bowed elaborately and said: “Welcome to Nevis!”

Me nar lie pon di woman!

So why do we still have people like these working in establishments across the island? I think that business owners and government included, should seek to train such individuals to be more courteous and customer friendly and if they prove to be not trainable, then they should weed them out or put them to work in the store room in the back, where their grumpiness would hopefully not affect anyone but themselves.

That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?

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