Why Do Companies Make Customer Service So Complicated

By: Vic Pichette owner of Eye on Success, a customer service consulting agency located in Rhode Island.

I like to take a few minutes to talk about some of my recent customer service issues that I’ve been involved with. I hope that someone who works with customers reads this and understands that this is not acceptable.

I am a huge fan of bold flavored coffee, and I really like this one national coffee chains coffee. The problem is their customer service is absolutely horrific. I have called the company several times and tried to find out if there was somebody I could talk to about helping resolve some of their customer service issues, but so far no one is interested. Let me tell you what I am talking about.

On two occasions during the same week I pulled up to this locations drive through. There was one car in front of me and one car parked outside. There were approximately 4 people inside working. The car in front of me ordered his drink, and I proceeded to order my medium regular coffee cream only. Let me make another note about this company. If you say the word medium coffee and not the ridiculous word that they use, they will correct you, which I find really disturbing that the actually take the time to correct you.

The car front of me moved up the line to the window, and we both waited approximately 7 minutes for him to get his coffee. If thats not long enough, when I got to the window my coffee wasn’t ready. I had to wait another minute or two to get my coffee. They ended up giving me and the person in front of me our coffees for free because it took so long.

I have no idea why it took so long, I have no idea what the person in front of me ordered, but it took almost nine minutes to get a coffee. This has actually happened to me on two different occasions during the same week.

So there is one simple and basic question that I as a customer need answered. Please tell me what was going on inside that coffee shop that could possibly take this long? Was it because they were brewing a new pot of coffee? Was it because they were really busy inside? What was the reason that it took that long that they had to give us free coffees?

Let’s take a look at the possible reasons and see if we can come up with a solution. If it was because they were brewing a new pot of coffee, they should’ve said to me and the customer front of me this very simple line. “Im sorry it’s going to take a few minutes were in the middle of brewing a new pot of coffee, would you like to wait or would you like something else?” How difficult would it be to say this? Instead they made us wait almost nine minutes for coffee, and then end up giving us our order for free.

On several other occasions when I went inside to get a coffee and I have been the only person in line, it can take you anywhere between four and six minutes to get your coffee.

While I’m on my high horse, let me tell you about one of my biggest pet peeves.
This applies to all companies that deal with customers directly. If you have customers in a line waiting and you have an employee whose cleaning, training, or doing something other than helping the customer, that employee immediately needs to drop what they’re doing and assist in getting the customers through the line quickly. Banks are famous for this. I guarantee if you do this, your customers will appreciate it big time. And once the rush is over, you can get back to doing what you doing. This is a very simple concept, but hardly ever done.

Getting back to my coffee shop experience. I am honestly concerned about this company survivability long term if they do not start taking customer service seriously, especially when their biggest competitor is extremely concerned about getting the customers out quickly. I believe that this is or will affect their bottom line. Quite frankly if I’m complaining, then many others are complaining about the same problems.

I tried contacting the regional manager, and told her that I would be very happy to do a free video shop so that they can see and hear everything that I see and hear when I purchase products. To date, I’ve gotten no reply.