Getting the service culture wrong

customer, lottery, convenience, inconvenience, customer waitingWalking towards Kings Cross station last Friday evening, I decided to buy a lottery ticket as part of my Plan Z for improving my life. The c-store was inviting, with no door, clear windows and a clear landing strip to the counter. Two people were behind the counter, one standing by the lottery machine and another by the till. Neither looked at me.

I stood at the counter and they continued to ignore me. I pulled out two pound coins and put them on the counter. They continued to ignore me. I waited for what felt like a minute but was probably only 10 to 15 seconds and then picked up the money and left the shop. One called “Sir” as I recrossed the threshold to the street.

What went wrong? As they are immediately next door to at least three c-stores of similar standard, it cannot be that they have too much business. Perhaps they each thought that the other staff member would serve me.

I reckoned that I would pass another Camelot outlet on my journey home. The lottery as commodity. Unfortunately for plan Z I forgot to buy a ticket. No-one won.

The failure to make eye contact was the worst part of the poor service. If they had caught my eye and smiled and indicated that it would only take a moment I might have waited. However, I was not happy at just being ignored. What not to do.


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