Customer Service – a modern day dinosaur

By Winn Apple   |   Published July, 2013

We have real, live folk answering our phone. What a concept!

Few things drive me as bonkers as dialing an 800 number, only to be greeted by an electronic voice guiding me through a series of questions and button pushing. It begins to feel like obstacle course whose only design is to annoy me to no end – wasting my time and rarely delivering me to a human voice without some secret alpha-numeric code I supposedly set 12 years ago.

Insert expletive here_______________!

Some days it seems as though customer service is a dated technology long since forgotten, along with the 8 track cartridge and the Bakelite TV. Though I must say, I have run across some very inventive uses for vintage television sets, my favorite being a fish aquarium.

Finding a host of bad customer service stories is like shooting fish in a barrel…or a Bakelite TV. This age old colloquial is likely misleading, but its intent is fitting.

Running a search on Google, you will find pages of testimonials dedicated to consumer outrage and frustration over poor customer service.

You’ll also hear praise for the great!

What you won’t find is someone going out of their way to share their experience regarding service that had absolutely no impact whatsoever, which more than likely constitutes that majority of our interactions as consumers. It’s acceptable, but not something to list as a selling point.

“Harvey’s Burgers – come get your grub on where service is adequate…most days.”

If those burgers rock, business will too, until the day that bad service spoils the fun for everyone.

Let’s face it, we all have off days and no doubt the very best among us fall prey to waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Putting the occasional slip aside, shaking off bad attitude is job numero uno for Customer Service. They are the life blood of a company. Great service can keep your business afloat even in the worst of times.

Unless you corner the market, holding hostage your patrons as the single manufacturer of the wizitwack – the pinhead sized memory dot for the new credit card sized laptop – well then, your patron will find someone else, someone who probably does it better than you…and cheaper. Snap!

No one wants to give their hard earned dollar to jerks! Seriously…no one.

It is no difficult task to generate a rather lengthy list of what annoys us most in our dealings with service professionals – all of which come down to one point, we would all like to be treated graciously or at the very least innocuously. We don’t expect the folks at the counter to make our day sunshine in a cup and it is an absolute thrill when they do, but we sure as shootin don’t expect them to make it worse!

Great customer service absolutely can turn someone’s day around, unless you’re dead inside. In which case you should just go to Harvey’s Burgers and leave the awesome customer service representatives for the rest of humanity. We happen to appreciate the unwarranted smile.

In addition to the many qualities exemplary customer service embodies, solving problems and better yet anticipating them is at the top of the list.

Depending on the line of business, it may not be important for customer service to be a wealth of knowledge. Pleasant manners and the ability to locate information is all that is necessary. But many services that we rely on depend upon informed and experienced folks running the service helm.


In printing for instance, numerous factors apply. It is indispensable in the reducing of hair loss to deal with someone who knows their business and will catch issues before it goes to press. Let me repeat, before it goes to press. Especially if you need that annual report on the fly! You do not have the luxury of extra time.

The complexity of some designs and the associated considerations could make your head spin – substrates, spot colors, binding, bleeds, crossovers, crimping, folds – the list goes on and on and on. Expertise and experience will make your life far more delightful.

Next time you’re ready to go to press give Bacchus a call. Not only do we answer our phones, you’ll be happy we did. We’re a pleasure to work with and we know printing, so you don’t have to!

Till next time, keep it Green!

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About the Author

In addition to crafting content and blogs, Winn Apple writes short stories and novellas for middle-grade readers. You can find her short stories along with a portfolio on her site, or on her soon to release website, – the best darn place to find short stories for kids.


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