Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Service Conspiracy

Huh? Does any of this ring true to anyone? It doesn't to me.
PHILADELPHIA -- If you’re over 50, you’ve probably had this experience:

You’re standing at a checkout counter, ready to pay, and the twentysomething behind the register is talking on her cell phone. So you wait, and wait, and wait, and when the clerk finally finishes her conversation, she offers not an apology, but a grimace that suggests you’ve interrupted.

Sound familiar? It has a name: the Service Gap.

That’s not a hip clothing store for soldiers. Or a new motto for the London subway system.

It’s business-speak to describe a phenomenon fueling plenty of holiday-shopping frustration: the difference in how baby boomers and members of the “millennial generation” define the concept of customer service.

“There’s a tremendous culture and value gap,” said William Withers, a communications professor at Wartburg College in Iowa who, with his colleague Patrick Langan, has spent years studying customer service.

It’s not that those in their teens or 20s are lazy or mean. Or that boomers are getting crotchety as they age. It’s that both groups have far different social experiences and expectations, and demographics tend to put boomers in the checkout line and millennials behind the counter.
Wow, lots of generalizations of generations there. That aside, I haven't noticed this "Service Gap" and particularly not along generational lines. There's some shitty service now and there was some shitty service 30 years ago.

I don't think I've ever had to wait for a young (or old) cashier to finish up a phone call before being helped. And why does this article flat out state this happens to the over 50 crowd in particular. Maybe that's why it's never happened to me, I'm not over 50. If your in your 30s or 40s, the kids leave you alone but torment the "crotchety" folks in their 50s.

Forget the alleged "Service Gap", it looks like we have an "idiotic reporting gap".

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