I’ve shared several posts on the topic of customer service in the past, but I think it warrants a repeat.
And just to let you know, I'll be using a lot of CAPS. But that doesn't mean I'm yelling, it just means I'm being ITALIAN and using my hands to make DRAMATIC gestures as I talk.
Tell me something friends, how do you find the quality of customer service in retail stores where you live?
In Center City, Philadelphia it’s pretty lean. Sure, there have been several occasions when I felt like I had received quality customer service, but it’s as rare as it would be for me to find an original Monet painting at a garage sale with a red dot sticker price that read, $2.50.
If I could express how I view a great percentage of the customer service in the retail stores within this city, I would have to say it’s a cross between laziness and arrogance. Because they act as though it takes SUCH effort to wait on you, and when they do wait on you, they act like they’re doing you such a HUGE favor in ALLOWING you to purchase something from their store.
I realize that I am in retail sales and that I’m probably more sensitive than most people, however, I don’t think asking for a simple (“Hello, welcome to our store”) from a sales associate when I walk through the door is asking too much.
I don’t expect a sales associate to fawn over me or kiss my ass, but I DO expect an acknowledgment and a greeting.
Back when I managed stores, I requested that every sales associate who worked there to STOP whatever task they were doing, such as stocking shelves, if a customer walked into our store, and IMMEDIATELY give them their focus.
I felt that our customers should be our MAIN priority and that all other tasks could wait. I mean without our customers, we wouldn’t have a business.
Case in point:
About two weeks ago, I walked into a small store, which was ironically voted in a local newspaper as being one of “Philly’s Best” retailers in specialty products and customer service.
*scratching my head*
As I entered the store, which was void of any other customers, I saw a gentleman standing at a table doing something on a laptop computer.
He never looked up; never said hello; never even noticed that I had entered the store.
He stayed GLUED to the computer, as if it was the only thing that concerned him.
So I began walking around the store; looking at some of the items on the shelves. Now I have to say in all honesty, they had some really wonderful products that were beautifully displayed.
I continued browsing; making my way closer and closer to where he was standing.
And STILL, no greeting, nor was I asked if I needed help.
Finally, I asked him a question - something about the essential oils they sold.
He looked up and answered in a few simple, snippy words, and then went back to his computer as if, “Please don’t bother me, I’m busy.”
About half a minute later, I saw another sales associate come out from a door behind the cash wrap counter. She never once acknowledged my presence or said a single word to me.
I eventually asked her, “Hi, how are you today?”
And do you know what she said after looking up at me for like TWO seconds?
I began asking her questions about the store and expressed how lovely I thought it was and that I really liked the merchandise they offered.
She answered me as if she were talking in Morse Code.
Thank you...Seven years...All organic...Made here in the store...Not tested on animals
I got to the point where I felt as though I was being a nuisance and that they were just not interested in me or my business.
So, I said goodbye and I walked out.
You know something?
I don't understand how things have gotten so screwed up in the consciousness of some people's mind, but many who are in the retail industry have forgotten something very basic. And very important.
The customer is purchasing something from YOU. This means that YOU are making a profit from the money which they take out of their pocket. This also means that they provide YOU with a PAYCHECK.
So actually, they are doing YOU a huge favor.
But even more important than that…
People have overlooked that the term ‘customer service’ has the word service in it.
This means….to SERVE.
And when you serve others…that’s when you’ll receive.