I recently went to a local store to make a small purchase and had a bad customer relations experience that got me thinking about the decline of customer service in this country.
I am old enough to remember when you could pull into a gas station and have an attendant come out and fill your tank, clean your windshield, check your oil and windshield washer fluid all at no extra charge and with a smile.
You could go to a restaurant and have someone meet you, seat you, take your order and say "Have a nice day."
You could go to a store and find a salesperson who actually knew their inventory and could discuss your needs with you and help you make an informed purchase. If your landline (yes, landline) was on the fritz, you could contact the phone company and have a technician come out to your home and repair the problem.
Also, you could call a business place and actually get a human being on the line to answer your question without having to suffer through an automated computer voice telling you to push 1 or 2 or whatever.
How many of us have had the experience of not getting the option we needed offered only to be hung up on? Slowly through the years, like the proverbial frog who gets placed in a pot of cold water and then the heat gets turned up, have consumers allowed the slow delegation of these services to fall to them.
Now, more often than not you bag your own groceries, pump your own gas, seat yourself at dinner and troubleshoot your own technical problems. All these jobs that young people could use today are gone.
On a better note, I have had some really great experiences with some of our local businesses: Sheetz and Best Way deserve a mention. To the rest of you, consider making customer service a real priority.