Really that bad? Yes!
Hub Catering operations manager Shona Nicholson is horrified at service in the area and says something needs to be done fast. She is calling on Taranaki businesses to get in touch and create a workshop to have service standards taught immediately.
Bizlink town manager Jane Burke agrees and says she is not sure Hawera retailers are aware of how their staff treat customers.
Rugby World Cup 2011 organisers have created a free online course – ‘‘First Impressions Training’’– to help frontline staff prepare for the Cup.
Mrs Nicholson recently spent several hours travelling from New Plymouth to Hawera delivering Halimoana business award nomination forms to Taranaki businesses.
She says it was part of the worst hours of her life and left her totally depressed.
‘‘No-one had a smile about them,’’ she says. ‘‘I was really disappointed, there is only one [shop] I would go back to.
‘‘We are not going to meet satisfactory standards as far as the World Cup goes.’’
But Mrs Nicholson has never been one to complain without putting in a bit of effort so she is offering to host a workshop for customer services staff throughout Taranaki to improve public relations before the World Cup frenzy hits.
‘‘It’s all about presentation and customer service, I just feel that Taranaki as a whole has lost it somewhere.’’
Jane Burke says, unfortunately she has to agree.
‘‘I definitely feel there are businesses out there where maybe managers or owners aren’t aware of how their staff are acting,’’ she says.
‘‘Many businesses in Hawera as a whole have room for improvement.’’
‘‘It’s learning how to deal with the customer right there and then, it’s something Bizlink would like to address.’’...
I have written a few times (ok, it's been more than a few times...) about how I find the customer service here lacking. If you have time, you can click 'rude kiwis' in my label cloud and read more. So, now I am proven correct and all you people that sent anonymous comments that said '...if I don't like NZ, I should move back to the US because I'm not wanted here anyway' can bite me!