are you being served by the bus industry?

If you go into any John Lewis or Marks & Spencer and ask where something is, you are highly likely to get one of three responses from the employee in question - told exactly where said item is (floor, department etc), taken to exactly where said item is or told they don't know but will find out.

All three answers are perfectly satisfactory. The large high street retail brands know the importance of employees treating customers the right way, and subsequently invest significant amounts to achieve the standards they set themselves.

They understand customers have the benefit of real choice. If they don't like what they are seeing/hearing they can all too easily take their custom somewhere else.

Now contrast that with the bus industry. Whether you like it or not, it is an industry with a largely captive audience and you'd be hard pressed to argue that customer service is a strong point for many operating companies. Their social media feeds are full of driver/attitude criticism.

So what's do we put it down to? The employees themselves, the training they are given or a bit of both? With drivers being the main brand advocate, any 'normal' retail brand would have them trained to within an inch of their lives in how they want customer service to be implemented. It's a simple mantra - treat customers well, be honest and truthful - because if you don't they will spend their money elsewhere.

I can't believe any business would deliberately neglect customer service but would you regard it as vitally important if you have a largely captive audience, with a severe lack of alternatives?