Customer service in the UK

If you’re following my tweets you may have recently read about my rather poor experience at Frankie and Bennys in Stafford. The staff didn’t acknowledge us, no-one took our order, when I complained someone eventually came over, took the food order and then didn’t ask whether we’d like drinks. It was all topped off with a near 2 hour wait and, after another two complaints, the dinner contained an elastic band. Super fail.

We decided to go for a meal because we’d just been to WaterWorld and the kids were hungry. You’ll see from their site that it’s a happy and entertaining place where you can go down big slides, rides, flumes and generally have loads of fun getting wet. When you get there the reality is somewhat different. The rides are great, the wave pool is fun, but the staff are the most bored and grumpy sods I’ve ever seen.

Yes, they’re teenagers probably on minimum wage. Yes, they have to deal with kids and other teenagers constantly breaking the rules, but they’re miserable as sin. They all look hot, annoyed and so disinterested.

It shouldn’t be this way, but – for the most part – it is. Customer service here in the UK is crap. I can understand people from other European countries being employed here. They seem to have a better work ethic and much better customer service skills.

I must make an exception though. We went to the Barley Mow in Stafford. It’s recently had a refurb and seems to be part of the “Eating Inn” chain. I’ve never heard of them to be honest but the staff are brilliant. The food was great and the surroundings were great. The staff were smiling and attentive. This is what customer service should be.