I have recently returned from a “Round Ireland with an Appetite” trip and was so proud that everywhere I went (yes everywhere) the customer service was excellent. From the smallest tea-shop to celebrated restaurants and all stops in between – the “one-step-extra” service just lightened my day everytime.
I have started many blogs with “its not because I’m Irish” but really – its not because I’m Irish but the new service station on the M7 could show every service station in the UK how it should be done.
It was the novelty of seeing a UK-style service station, which is an unusual feature in Ireland, that caused me to stop try it out. At Junction 14 Mayfield, Monesterevin, Co.Kildare, this well-run service station with fresh food, cooked to perfection was a joy. And the staff, oh the staff! Smiling, connected, proactive in their customer service.
The Manager, Gavin Moran, was centrally placed (not tucked away in an office somewhere) and very obviously leading his team. I sat watching and wondering why UK service stations couldn’t be more like this and as I watched Mr Moran’s quiet, respectful interaction with, and leadership of, his staff team – the obvious answer arrived: send Mr Moran to the UK please, we need him!
It became clear to me during my travels that the best product Ireland has is its people, not the weather, not the sights – beautiful as they are – but the people or, more precisely, the attitude of its people.
Of course there are miserable hotel owners (I met one in Kinsale!) and of course there are cranky shop owners (even though I have never personally met one) and Ireland is not, of course, full of wonderful, cheery, laid-back people but their customer service ethos is second to none.
Perhaps that’s how they could get themselves out of the deep financial hole they are in: marketing their customer service skills training to the rest of Europe?