I have lived in a couple of countries and I always enjoy immersing in the culture. I have to say that I feel fortunate learning about different traditions here in Slovakia, from having a fish in your bath tub during Christmas to the always popular spraying perfume on women during Easter (I've heard this tradition is actually more complex, but I have yet to learn this).
We all are used to different ways of doing things; how to catch a bus, the acceptable distance you are allowed to talk to someone so you don't invade their personal space, to knowing that you better know what you want to order when you approach the counter of a store or get ready to face the anger of the store clerk.
Living in Bratislava I have heard many stories about the lack of customer service in the city. Many of them I consider are due to cultural differences, but there are a few horror stories that make me wonder if there's a certain disdain towards foreigners here in the city.
Recently I learned about a horror story in a well known club in the city where waitresses refused to acknowledge customer requests, or if you were served, you got this feeling that they were actually doing you a favour. Not to mention an actual physical attack by bouncers because some people mistook where the bathrooms were (mind you these people were not drunk or acting obnoxious).
It is hard to understand why this behaviour is accepted and the apparent lack of understanding about customer service is baffling. I am sure that these customers will never return or spend one more cent in this venue; therefore it asks the question, does the owner not mind losing money?
On the other hand there are also some feel good stories shared amongst the expat community of places where customer satisfaction is a top priority, while customer review pages, Facebook groups or blogs provide a much needed help when trying to decide if a restaurant is worth your time. Bratislava is a fantastic city, and I hope your view on the city does not change should you have a bad experience at a restaurant or club; trust me we have all been there.
By Diego Loyola - InterNations Ambassadors Bratislava