Thursday, March 22, 2007

With a Smile.

Maybe it is me.

No matter where I went or who I dealt with today, every single person at any business or service, was in a foul and shitty mood.

And it showed.

I think that customer service in general has fallen by the wayside. (I say that, and I'm in the business of customer service.) I've noticed the decline over the last couple of years, and I believe I've commented on it a couple of times in this very blog.

I'm not sure if it's the people doing the job, the people doing the training, or if all the blame has to be laid at the feet of the people who run the show. (The customers.) When I was with the Arches, they had a simple saying: "Walk by a problem and you've made it the new standard." Every time you accept lesser service or bad attitudes, you've basically told that slacker that they are doing a good job. I don't want to be the complaining asshole, but someone has to say something.

I dealt with this twice lately. Both times involved me asking for help with something that I was looking for. The low-level clerks who were dealing with me either brushed me off or told me that they couldn't help me - and then walked away. What are my options in these situations? I could either:
  1. Speak with my wallet - Don't say anything, leave and never shop there again. How much does that affect the Big Box Store? Not at all. Bot unless I get 100,000 of my friends to stop shopping there as well.
  2. Bitch - Go higher up. Talk not only to someone who can help you, but to someone who can fix the service problem as well.
I chose the second option in both cases.

I gave each clerk as much opportunity to help me as possible, and I was very polite. When that wasn't enough, I spoke to the manager of the relative departments, politely explained myself to them and received either what I was looking for at a vastly reduced cost, or substituted with a better item. I wasn't rude and kept myself composed at all times. I even heard the one guy explaining to the clerk what he should have done afterwards. (The guy wasn't a dick about it either, so I hope it stuck.)

I'm not going to bitch all the time, but as a manager myself, I like it when people can give you feedback on how your staff is doing.Speaking with my wallet is good in some cases, but I'm not going to do that if the only one inconvenienced is me. (The Big Box Store will bemoan the amount I'm being discounted more than me driving another 45 minutes to avoid them.)

To sum myself up: Speak up! Reward good service with loyalty, appreciation and positive feedback; punish the bad service by letting them know you aren't happy. Don't ignore it and hope someone else deals with it.


Song On My Mind - "Monkey" By Counting Crows
Reading - "The Ingredients on the Coke Zero Can" By What Did They Put In This Shit?

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