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Customers always have to come first

In many ways, customer service has become a lost art in our society.

You can see it in Winchester, Ky., but also in every small town and big metropolis from the Atlantic to the Pacific and all points in between.

It is sometimes hard to determine whether some businesses and their employees simply don’t care anymore or if they do not have the training and skill sets necessary to provide exemplary customer service. 

Being eternal optimists, we have to believe it is the latter as opposed to the former.

This message was driven home last week when it was announced in a prepared statement by the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights that Winchester’s Taste of China restaurant had reached a settlement to resolve a 2014 complaint that it had violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by allegedly refusing service to a woman who relied on a service dog.

Let’s be very clear. The settlement did not admit guilt or wrongdoing by the restaurant which has long contended that it was a misunderstanding and that they did not refuse service.

Regardless of exactly what happened, this situation perfectly illustrates the importance of training employees on all relevant laws, proper communication, social etiquette and basic fundamentals of customer service.

Although the facts of that specific case are contested, it is indisputable that this is a situation that could have been avoided.

We are not singling out Taste of China, as training in these areas is something that virtually every business could benefit from.

Another critical step in changing this trend is that the community must celebrate businesses and individuals who go above and beyond the call of duty to provide great customer service and serve our community. We know that Winchester in Clark County is filled with many of both. We urge consumers to make a conscious effort to celebrate these successes.

The old adage that “the customer is always right” may be overstated, but the customer certainly has to come first.