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  • Writer's pictureSherry Ellingson

A Decline in Customer Service & Increased Prices.

Written by: Sherry Ellingson

An increase in prices is what we are all experiencing. Increase pricing in food, gas, home improvement, therapy and more. What's interesting is that customer service is decreasing.

Have you experienced this recently?

Every where from local cafes, restaurants, insurance companies, clothing stores, hotels, dentists' office are experiencing shortages in employees but those who are working are offering the worst service.

I am not saying everyone/everywhere has awful service but there's a great majority. In the past 4 months my family and I have traveled from Camel, Ca. to Lake Tahoe and other cities in between. I love to go to local small owned restaurants and coffee shops to experience the local food and culture. One of my favorite things to do, and this is what I enjoy as a consultant, is to talk to employees to get a feel for the atomsphere. I will always tip even if it's a cup of coffee and I'm taking it to go. Having worked in the service industry my whole working life; I believe in being kind to service workers.

What I've observed is that even though we are paying more for what we used to get, the service and quality of food/product/service has declined . Essentially we are receiving less. I've experienced unfriendly employees who don't take ownership for their mistakes both in big businesses such as an insurance company and small privately owned local businesses.

In most areas there are hiring signs on business doors. In Tahoe they are offering $18/hr to work in a coffee shop and here in the Bay- Area Peet's Coffee is offering $20/hr. for some of it's locations.

A busy local restaurant in Olympic Village in North Shore Lake Tahoe locked it's doors without notice or a sign. Nothing on their social media accounts. The only sign sign on their door said : we are open every day from 11-8. Another restaurant in South Lake Tahoe has a huge outdoor seating section with tons of customers, but very few servers and even less cooks. We sat for 15 minutes and did not see one server, and looking around other tables we noticed others waiting. They had a live musician though to keep people seated. Eventually we left without making contact with a server or busser.

This isn't just in Lake Tahoe during tourist season. It's happening locally where we live in the East Bay and other Bay-Area cities.

There's all kinds of excuses for why this is happening. BUT I've noticed another factor:

most of the establishments are growing. Meaning they are opening multiple locations, remodeling, upgrading and expanding.

Businesses are increasing prices and fees, remodeling and expanding but the focus and training on service and quality has declined.

It's interesting isn't it?

Let me know your thoughts.


Sherry Ellingson

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