I've been looking at, and working with Visitor Attractions to improve customer service, how they are perceived by customers and how to capture their loyalty. I’m not sure we make that much progress, and the cashier taking my money whilst talking to a colleague on another till (and not even business related I have to say) reinforced that.

However, we also need to remember that customer service extends throughout our lives – in things we do and things that others do for us. Good customer service even extends to those that work for us, a concept easily forgotten. Take, for example a recent brief correspondence with Midlothian Highways regarding a new junction with traffic lights to replace a roundabout near where I live. My suggestion that some relief be given to vehicles trying to turn right against oncoming traffic was met with the response I expected to be honest, but the annoying thing was his auto-reply to my request that my note be kept on file, and sent in a couple of weeks ago told me that the guy was away but would be back in the office on May 31st. Not changing your auto reply for over 2 months seems poor! I pay his salary and was not impressed – but the point is we do very little about it. My son has been running a Fringe Play at Rosslyn Chapel and paid for an advert in the Fringe Magazine – the magazine got the phone number wrong for the booking office. Okay they got their advert cost back (hurting the Fringe Magazine profits, but who cares, clearly not the staff there!) and how much money did the play lose because of it. A letter to my MP was replied to with an unreadable PP signature. There just seems to be no care taken and the prevailing attitude of "who really cares" wins.

Its time we all paid a little more attention to our actions and interactions. If you provide any sort of service whether its directly paid for or not be attentive, polite and courteous. If you don’t you’ll find that "Victor Meldrews" like me will write all the more often!!

I’m happy to expand this modest Blog to hear any Name & Shame stories of poor service. If you have a genuine and real example lets hear of it.

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