the waiting game

I am a self-confessed customer experience freak. Everything includes a journey into service, so why not rate it? We all (hopefully) know what exemplary service looks like in a retail establishment or restaurant.

Did we find what we wanted in a timely manner? Were we treated with respect? Was the business clean and easy to navigate? The list goes on and on…

does it end at checkout?

What set’s you apart from the masses is the experience. I can buy a coffee just about anywhere that serves food, but what makes me crave Starbucks is the ability to relax with a friend while sipping a latte.

Daisy poses wearing scarf
Daisy poses wearing scarf

In most retail establishments, surveys are included with a receipt in order to evaluate the experience. Coupons or prize drawings are customary as a thank you for completing the survey.

Who really fills these surveys out? My best estimate is 2 types of people; really really over the moon satisfied or extremely pissed off. There are probably those who rest somewhere in the spectrum. It is a mystery who they might be.

Metrics such as OSAT (overall satisfaction) fitting room experience, knowledge of staff, wait time tell a story as to how we are regarded as customers.

did I say wait time???

Blah, blah blah…Enough customer service 101! As usual, there is a point. It just takes me time to warm up and actually get to it. Today I had an excruciatingly slow experience with my son and dog at the vet’s office.

Sam and Daisy at vet's office
Sam and Daisy at vet’s office

Daisy is scratching herself silly from allergies. Because I had the day off, we took her to be seen before she was completely hairless and raw.

does promptness count?

Not being known for promptness to social engagements (sorry) I make it a point to leave 1/2 hour early just in case for a doctor’s appointment. Nothing worse than being tardy and holding up the stream of patients (customers).

After signing the roster, we sat. No biggie. Honestly, I didn’t notice if we were in the waiting room very long. Everyone loves Daisy and I had nowhere crucial to go for the next few hours.

Before I realized, we were in an examination room. Here is where the waiting really started. The clock was ticking, Daisy was pacing, and I killed lots of piggies in Angry Birds.

one hour later…

show the love
show the love

Still sitting, pacing, etc. The only difference was that Sam began commenting how long we were alone in the room. Wasn’t our time valuable? How long until we picked up and left.

I switched from Angry Birds to solitaire on my phone. Tick, tock, tick tock. It was an hour from the time we entered the office until Daisy was seen for her vitals. Seriously??

I remained calm, but did mention  the long delay to the assistant. Would I have to pay for the appointment after waiting and waiting and waiting forever?

How much longer would it take from there? Hmmm… Let’s see.

thirty minutes

Erfffff. After the next half hour, we were informed Daisy needed Benedryl. Yeah, I was already giving her that. Not only was this a colossal waste of my time, but it also cost $95 for the exam, etc.

By delaying the appointment the message was obvious;  we don’t matter. There were no apologies for our inconvenience. When we left, they made it clear we were intruding on their lunchtime. The doors were locked and we had to be let out.

Don’t they understand that there are veterinarian offices up and down the street? I don’t have to patronize their establishment? As a customer (and a human being), I matter.

Support to this office matters. Gone are the days where waiting 90 minutes  is appropriate. If customers are undervalued, they will disappear. Perhaps then there will be less waiting.

lesson learned; customers are everywhere

What will it take to finally understand the importance of the customer’s experience? I feel like people are hyper-sensitive to service and demand the best at all times.

Why don’t we expect the same of our doctors, veterinarian’s, and the like? As a working woman who pays both in cash and opportunity costs (back to economics 101 now).

When is the last time you waited an astronomically long time for something simple? Did your head nearly explode off your shoulders or like me, did you take it out on the green piggies?

Share your thoughts and stories.

2 thoughts on “the waiting game

  1. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says:

    I usually break out the phone and games, then get annoyed if I’m still waiting after. I realize I’m impatient, but waiting that long is simply ridiculous. And you’re right – it does make a statement that the customer and her needs are unimportant.


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