Nearly a third of Canadian consumers (32 %) believe that businesses pay less attention to providing good customer service, according to the results of a random survey of 1,003 adult Canadian consumers, conducted for American Express.  61% of respondents said that in the past year they intended to buy a product or service but decided not to, based on poor customer service.  34% said they lost their temper with a customer service representative in the past year. 21% said they stormed out of a store in the past year; 39% said they hung up the phone and 66% said they insisted on speaking with a supervisor.

The survey found that 63% of consumers will tell others about a poor service experience, but only 54% will talk about a good experience.

On average, Canadian consumers tell 13 people about their good experiences, and 21 people about their bad experience.

So what are we doing wrong?  Growing up a Canadian, the one thing I always heard from travelers or from places I have travelled was how friendly and polite Canadian’s are.  Now this is not to say all Canadian’s have forgotten their manors.  I live in the GTA where it seems to be worse.  Just outside of Toronto, people remember to say please and thank you, and places like Tim Horton’s will go out of their way to service their customers in an efficient and friendly manor.

One of the first things we need to remember is that no matter how much you push for sales, you will not succeed if the customer is not happy.  So spend the two seconds it will take say “Have a nice day” Listen to what your customer is asking for and do your best to provide.  Smiles are free (at McDonalds anyway). 

I go to the Tim Horton’s at the Esso station at Hwy 10 and Bovaird in Brampton, Ontario most mornings.  This is a little out of my way for the trip into work.  Why do I go there when there is a Tim Horton’s on my way?  I go there for the service.  Every morning I am greeted with a smile.  They always get my order correct, and pleasantly ask if I would like anything else.  As I get to the window, there is my wonderful hot steaming coffee ready to wake me and start my day.  Holding my coffee, is an alert and friendly woman who always wishes me a good day.  Now I know there are mornings when the last thing she wants to do is to stand at a sometimes cold and wet drive through window, where she will service hundreds of grumpy non-morning people on their way to work.  And yet, consistently, there she is with a smile and my coffee.  For that reason alone I will go out of my way to get my coffee from that Tim Horton’s.  Now you may be thinking I am being picky or maybe my order is difficult.  I drink a large black coffee.   That’s it.  No fuss, nothing special or fancy.  Any yet, that little order seems to confuse most Tim Horton’s window people.  I have had coffee shoved through my window, spilling on my lap.  I am often ask what I would like in my black coffee, most times the cup is not filled to the top, and almost without fail I have to wait, (for what I don’t know).  Don’t get me started if I am ordering a sandwich with that.  Never do I get a thank you, or any word of pleasantry.  This is just my rant about Tim Horton’s in Brampton, there are so many stores and services that I have to use daily where I leave feeling disappointed and angry at the manor in which I have been treated.  

I was at the Rogers store, again at Hwy 10 and Bovaird in Brampton.   What a shining example of what customer service is meant to be.  EVERY time I need assistance from Rogers, these people will go out of their way to provide me with the best they can.  I tend to need service a lot.  I have two sons, both with phones, iPods, and computers, as well as myself.  I was born before the techy generation, so I often need an experienced person to assist me in my purchases.  The people at Rogers spend as much time as I need, going over all the options for any and all devises.  They go out of their way to help me save money, and even go the extra mile and set up my devises with the applications I require.  I know they have worked through breaks and lunches when the store is busy.  Each and every customer that walks into this store is greeted like a friend.  The staff even knows the names of many of the reoccurring customers like myself.  I will stand in their line without complaint, because I know they are giving the person in front of me the same level of service I will be receiving when it is my turn.  I will not be rushed or treated like a number.  This is how ALL great Canadian stores should be run.  

Maybe our problem is in the training.  We don’t encourage our young people to have manors and respect for others.  We spend so much time in our web-based world that we no longer work at how to treat the real live person.  When training our people for the service industry, service should be the first and foremost lesson taught.  My youngest boy has recently started working in the customer service industry.  I asked him what kind of training he received for customer service.  He was trained on selling, and up selling to the customer.  He was not informed that the customer is the most important asset to the company.  He was not informed that without the customer there would be no sales.  He was taught to grab the all mighty dollar.  

This attitude of, that’s not my job, or that’s not my position, has got to go.  If you work for Wal-Mart, or any other store, your job is to have an active role in promoting your business, and to create an environment shoppers will want to come back to.  If you don’t know where something is, get someone who does.  I never want to hear, “That’s not my department” ever again.  Smile as you go through the store.  Ensure your customers have a pleasant shopping experience.  Happy customers will return, even if it costs more, or is out of the way.  As a customer service representative, you will be ensuring your future employment by being part of the reason customer’s come back.

If you have been hired to work as customer service.  Then that is what you do.  Serve your customer.  Whether that is as a teller at the bank, a floor person at Wal-Mart, or as a person serving coffee at Tim Horton’s.  

As Canadian’s our attitude needs to change, both in and out of the store.  Hold the door for the person coming up behind you.  Smile more.  And as your mother most likely told you, “remember to say please and thank you”.  Put your phone down and look at the world around you.   Social media is great, but lets not forget the personal touch.


A growing number of Canadians are losing patience with bad customer service,Customer expectations are rising. They have a lot of choice, they have a lot of different brands or choices, they can be a little more choosy.

06/13/2016 11:04pm

Our problem really is in the training!

05/31/2017 7:08am

Managers and supervisors should do something about this issue. Every customer should be satisfied with whatever service he/she demands. This kind of problem will lead to the failure of the business. This is a serious matter that should be solved immediately by the management. Businesses should hire people with the right set of skills and the right kind of attitude in handling customers.


Research is an another important part to begin a writing assignment. Research about the content which is useful for such article, research about the ways where information can be gathered.

06/12/2017 8:41pm

Does only Canadians? What about Americans of Europeans?


Leave a Reply