I'm constantly hearing people complain how Millennials lack customer service skills. Complaints range from poor attitudes to texting while speaking with customers. The most vocal complainers seem to be the Boomers.
I believe that poor service has no age barrier. We blame what is easiest to identify. A young person gives you bad service so you immediately leap to the conclusion that all young people lack the communication skills necessary to work with people. When in fact, there are many situations where service is lacking, regardless of age.
Here is but one example. I went to my local Roche Brothers supermarket yesterday, where I'm willing to pay a premium for their fresh fish. It's like eye candy to me and I simply can't hold myself back. I was being waited on by a man who appeared to be in his early 60's. He was moving along at a decent pace until the phone rang. He walked away, right in the middle of my order, to answer the phone. I stood there thinking, "Okay, this will only take a minute." He must have been on the phone for well over five minutes. Perhaps with a customer placing an order. But that didn't matter to me. What mattered most is that I was forced to stand there while he tended to someone who was obviously more important to me. When he completed what he was doing, he chatted briefly with a co-worker and then came back to finish my order.
He never apologized for making me wait. It was as if nothing happened. I call that poor service. I'm dropping at least $25 on fish and it's as if I wasn't even there. I call that poor customer service and I don't believe it has anything to do with his age.
So the next time you decide to go on a rant about how the Millennials have such poor customer service skills, think about the real reason for the service failure. It may have more to do with how engaged the employee is with his employer, than his actual chronological age.