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  • Kathryn Stewart

Customer Service – it’s not rocket science, so why do so many get it so wrong?

When helping people is essentially a cornerstone of society, why do so many businesses get customer service so wrong? Consultant Kathryn Stewart discusses how the desire to help people is right at the core of being a Recruiter.


Helping people is essentially a cornerstone of society. If we didn’t help one another, then we probably wouldn’t get anywhere as a civilisation. If you’re in a customer facing role, then your primary goal should be to help your customers to the best of your ability – or in my role as a Recruiter, clients and candidates.

We all know how important customer service is, so why are many companies across different sectors getting it so wrong?

The Importance of Customer Experience

I took my three-year old daughter out for brunch to a favourite café because I’ve always had impeccable service from staff there during the week. We went on a Sunday and my daughter really wanted bacon (never mess with a three-year old’s desire for bacon!). During our time in the café, I noticed how they (mis)handled their customer service:

  • Whilst I was advised that there may be a delay on the food (I ordered a snack to keep her going), the food took even longer than advised. (Fail)

  • When the food eventually came out, it was salmon instead of bacon. (Fail)

  • My daughter, who was faced with another long wait for her correct meal, became increasingly restless. (Fail)

  • We received a free coffee (Win) by an obviously miserable waitress who appeared to be taking the brunt of the customer complaints. (Fail)

  • As we left, I noticed there were three ‘busy’ Chefs in the kitchen servicing a small, half-filled café but were not prioritising cooked meals for existing customers. (Fail)

  • Overall, the staff looked miserable, the Chefs looked stressed and the customers looked fed up. (Huge Fail)

Have I been back? Well, yes, but only on a weekday for takeaway coffee and not as often. Have I have recommended them to others? No, absolutely not.

Setting Your Customer Service Standard

Looking back at my experienced in the café got me thinking, the difference between good and bad customer service is the same in most industries. It’s therefore understandable that senior management normally pay close attention to the performance of their business’s customer service. However, most often fail to devote enough time to train and motivate the people at the front line, leading to gaps between objectives and delivery.


As a recruitment professional, I always try to go above and beyond what is expected. Whether it’s small things like responding punctually to job applications and being on time to client meetings, or taking my time to help candidates with their CVs, I know it makes a big difference. So if I can help someone I will. If they end up getting their dream job because of it then it truly makes my day.

So if you are a business with a vacancy to fill then please get in touch today. I may not be able to directly help you, but I will do my best to point you in the right direction and to offer advice. Because I do actually enjoy helping people, it’s a passion of mine!

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