Posted: 22/09/2020

“We’ve got so wrapped up with policy that we’ve forgotten customer service”


The Farrand family are supporting the ‘Staycation’. I’m sat here in sunny Norfolk (the rest of the week has been soggy) and like most of the population finally feeling comfortable enough to have time away from the office and confident enough to leave our postcode, writes John Farrand, managing director

John Farrand

Not a relaxing holiday, mind. Our children are 16 and 18 and that equals a double whammy of exam results kerfuffle. I don’t have the word count here to relate the ups and downs and huge frustration felt by a generation in this national algorithmic mess. The only good thing that it did was pose the musical question: how could ACDC become ABBA within 48 hours?

For most of us with our own businesses it is tricky to switch off in a normal year, setting apart what we have all endured in 2020, and that doesn’t help the holiday mood. 

We’re away with old friends who have a wedding venue business and inevitably talk shop now and then as there’s some shared food and drink politics to chew over. We’re also exposed to the good, the bad and the ugly in pubs, tea rooms, restaurants and shops on our various trips dodging rain clouds. 

There’s the coffee shop that needs someone on the door to monitor customer numbers as the queue outside is huge and no one is quite sure whether they should be grabbing that empty table or not. Face masks in takeaways? Everyone has a different policy. Then there’s the pub with the most impressive table ordering app. And my, the table service. A jolly young man who engaged, chatted, and declared that he missed the banter that has inevitably gone from a busy bar. 

And that’s the point made by my wedding organiser chum. We’ve all become so wrapped up with Government direction and policy that we have forgotten about customer service. We went back to that pub and avoided the coffee shop and takeaway. No surprise there, perhaps, but they’ll be banking our COVID-compromised holiday budget and will still be in business when we head back in 2021. 

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