The curse of giving good service


I’ve learned that when the goal of great service is a big part of your business, after awhile the entire team slowly but surely becomes completely resentful of bad service they receive elsewhere. I can’t tell you the number of times a member of the team has said, You know, Jean, before I worked here I never noticed bad service but now I find myself biting my tongue all the time when I receive lousy customer service!”.

Last Friday Andrea stormed into my office around 12:30 and told me that she’d gone for her usual Friday pizza lunch, and they first undercooked and then burned her Honolulu slice and when she said that she simply had no more time to wait, the owner (the franchisee) said, well, do you want your money back? To which Andrea replied, it’s really not about the money, I come here every week! And he shrugged and said words to the effect of “Okay then I’ll keep your money”.

So today – one week later- I went over to the pizza place just to see for myself what was up (everyone on the team is always complaining about that location’s service) and sure enough the service was atrocious, although the person who had interacted with Andrea didn’t appear to be there. The only fun part of the expedition was then emailing Andrea:

Subject: Pizza Guy

…just came with your slice of Honolulu pizza and said he was very sorry about last week :)

Andrea: is this a joke?

Me: No! The pizza is here! In my office!

Andrea: lol, come on.

Anyway, Andrea got her Honolulu pizza slice but, no, the pizza guy “wasn’t” sorry and I assume didn’t see the harm in a customer being so dissatisfied.
To me, there are two huge issues with bad service – one of course is that the customers don’t feel valued and the other is that the team giving the bad service (from what I can see) never seem very happy either. It’s hard to be kind and friendly to customers and feel down – but it’s also pretty hard to be mean and snarly and feel all happy about being at work. After awhile, the culture of a business just is toxic for everyone.
I guess we’re done with the Pizza Guy.

About the author

Jean Blacklock

Jean opened the popular Prairie Girl Bakery in the financial district of Toronto in 2011. She owned and operated the business until it closed in 2021 as a result of the pandemic’s impact on downtown Toronto. Read more about her background in commerce, law, and entrepreneurship here.

By Jean Blacklock


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