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Posts Tagged ‘customer service’

I remember a time as a child when I would go to the grocery store with my great- grandmother.  It was a local store known as the Camden Food Shop, locally owned and locally operated.  I remember the warm greeting you got when you walked into the door – a smile and a handshake by the manager.  The young men stocking the shelves were always so eager to help the elderly reach the items on the top shelf, the produce hemmed and hawed over till it shined in it’s proper placement.  The price was a little more than our Super Walmart down the road, but it was worth it, even to me as a child.  The cashiers were friendly and engaging, the boy bagging the groceries polite and courteous as he helped us to the car.  I would watch as my Gaga would slip a few coins into his hand and receive an enthusiastic ‘Thank you ma’am’ in return.   What happened to those days?

My last trip to Walmart resulted in a complete loss of faith in Customer Service.  First in an attempt to maneuver my cart through the isle littered with boxes of items being stocked, the Walmart employee stocking the shelves shot me a glare and rolled his eyes.  Then, I tried to catch the attention of an employee who seemed to just be socializing with a fellow employee so I approached them and said “Pardon me, but could you tell me where I could find the carpet cleaner?” (It wasn’t with the mops and it wasn’t with the vacuums) I was met with large ghastly sighs and a finger pointed in the general direction of housewares.  Excuse me for asking you to actually work. The final straw that day took place at the register. I had coupons and the cashier didn’t know how to use them.  Not only did she blame me for not knowing how to ring up the coupons (I’m sorry isn’t that your job??) but she proceeded to tell me it was “too busy” for me to be using  coupons and then apologized to the man behind me for having to deal with me.

Oh no she did not! Of course I told her that if she felt the need to apologize to other customers it should be for her lack of ability to do her job, not for me bringing in some coupons.

Needless to say there was an – um – disturbance in the local Walmart that day.  What’s worse?, the Customer Service Manager didn’t even bother to apologize when I complained about how I was treated!  It was then that it occurred to me, they don’t care because they don’t have to.  Why is it that consumers have grown so accustomed to this treatment that we just look the other way? As if Walmart were doing us some favor by being open? I’m sorry but aren’t we the customers? Do we not make or break their business model?? Obviously this is something they’ve forgotten.

It’s not limited to retail stores alone. In fact, I’m not sure which is worse, retail or fast food restaurants?  Now I can understand you’re working for minimum wage in a hair net and it’s less than fulfilling.  You make french fries all day and deal with the filth of society, fine I get it, but if you don’t like you’re circumstances…only you can change them. Rolling your eyes when I ask for extra pickles or a clean food tray is not going to make it better. Oh and yes I get your sarcasm when you say ‘would you like to try a hot apple pie with that‘ but I’m still not laughing.  I don’t feel sorry for you, just because you hate your job does not give you free reign to mistreat the public.  How many times have I gotten half of my order or the wrong drink and just shrugged it off and gone about my business? Never mind I work my thankless job 40 hours a week and earned that money without making my customers miserable in the process. What has happened to Customer Service?

Have we all just gotten so accustomed to dealing with poor service that we are ok with inadequate standards? According to White House elicited TARP Study done in the 1980’s the following was discovered about unsatisfied customers:

-96% of dissatisfied customers do not complain directly.

-90% will not return.

-One unhappy customer will tell nine others.

-13% will tell at least 20 other people.

Just think that study took place over 20 years ago; since that time Customer Service has certainly fallen by the wayside.  The big question is, are we as consumers to blame?  Think about it, by lowering our standards and accepting the less that adequate service are we paving the way for our own mistreatment?  Is it too late to make a change?

Now I’m not saying that everyone should start raving like a lunatic when they receive a medium instead of a large or a because the Walmart greeter doesn’t smile as they say hello.  No that is certainly not the solution.  What we can do is increase our standards of acceptance.  If you feel like you were mistreated, say something to a manager, voice your opinion and make your standards known.  You don’t have to cause an uproar but you can explain that it’s not acceptable.  Encourage your friends and family to stop settling for mediocre and make these corporations live up to the standards of excellence that they advertise!  It’s not all about putting out the best price it has to be a balance between price, customer service and overall store appearance.

Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way, but if I’m not then maybe if enough of us stand up to it and demand better maybe we might can make a difference.  Or maybe we’ll just be deemed complainers – haha – either way it’s worth a try.

End thought: You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.” – Beverly Sills

Also, yes I tried to be serious in this, but the pictures got me. I just couldn’t help myself.

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