My Friend Kitty

My friend Kitty and I have been pals for many years, now that I've moved away I don't get to see her as often, but I call her every morning on my drive to work and we talk for the 15 or 20 minutes it takes me to make my way to my office... no subject is off limits between us...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Customer Service

"I hate bad customer service!" and so began our morning conversation.

I had to run into a local convenience store this morning to pick up a couple of things. I was running a little late and was in just a little bit of a hurry. The two ladies at the cash register were chatting about a mutual friend who was expecting a baby... "she already has a teenage son and a four year old daughter, and now is expecting another baby."

The gentleman in front of me was waiting patiently for a break in the conversation to ask for a BINGO lottery ticket. One of the women ignored him completely, she was too busy doing inventory and repricing the cigars to notice him, a customer, standing politely waiting, but she was NOT too busy to continue the conversation with her fellow employee about the expectant mother. The other cashier finally looked up and asked (none too politely, I might add) what he wanted... he told her and she handed him the ticket without really looking at him or thanking him for his patronage. He stated that the ticket she gave him wasn't a BINGO ticket, which is what he had asked for... she told him she was out of BINGO... but he could have the one under the glass counter if he wanted, he said OK he'd take it... she did another lengthy search under her counter just to make sure she was really out and then made a big TO-DO about lifting the glass from the counter and pulling the last BINGO out from under the showcase... the man glanced several times at me with apology written on his face, I smiled back at him to let him know I didn't hold him responsible for the cashier's rude behavior.

He left and it was my turn, I requested the items I wanted after the cashier looked at me... what happened to "may I help you please?" or "what can I do for you, ma'am?" She just looked at me with an attitude that said to me that I was a customer so she HAD to help me but she was doing me a favor to do so... I paid for my purchases and left without being thanked or "have a good day" or anything... the ladies went back to the conversation the gentleman and I had so rudely interrupted!

Now I ask you... if these two ladies were allowed to do what they wanted... count inventory, reprice items, and gossip about their neighbors all day... and not serve the customers... how long would their job last?... if they sold nothing, there would be no Circle K and there would be no job, no paycheck for these two women...

In my past experiences in customer service... I've always been taught the "customer is always right" the "customer pays your salary" treat them like it!

Sure there are rude, angry, ridiculous customers... but hey, I was just standing in line waiting my turn, I hadn't said a word. And what has happened to simple, common courtesy in this world? What has happened to looking people in the eye when you speak to them? to give them a smile and a word of welcome, an offer of service? Where have the phrases "Please" and "Thank You" and "Have a nice day" gone?

I have gone through the drive through of fast food restaurants recently and the person just hands the bag out the window without even looking at me, much less thanking me for being there and for my patronage!

Chat with your fellow employees! Do your side jobs of cleaning, restocking, repricing, counting... they're important... but do it AFTER you have taken care of your primary responsibility... taking care of customers! That's all I'm asking! that and a smile and a thank you... how hard is that?

Wonder if you held a class in customer service, you'd have anybody show up these days? I'm thinking about offering one!

1 comment:

  1. I am right there with you Pam. Customer service is practically non-existent these days. I work in a convenience store and while there are those days when every customer seems to come straight from the depths of hell, most days it is quite enjoyable. I always thank customers and tell them to have a nice day or something to that effect. But elsewhere in Henderson and Transylvania counties, about the only places I go now that gas is almost 4 bucks a gallon, service employees are rude as they come. Don't even get me started on wait staff at restaurants........omg! I have sat in one restaurant on Main Street in Hendersonville for 5 hours and never been waited on .... I was there for the karaoke not the food but a drink would have been nice!! And it is not just one or two places ... it is everywhere.