04 Sep 2017

Do all customers deserve good customer service?

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We all talk about wanting good customer service but do we deserve good customer service?

You often hear the phrase “the customer is always right”, I disagree, I have seen awful customers that definitely haven’t been right in their words and actions.  The trick the members of staff have to learn is, in my opinion, how to identify customers, it isn’t hard believe me.

So what is a good customer, well one that pays on time, is polite, doesn’t waste endless staff time with pointless irrelevant details and indecisive comments, one that doesn’t always arrive as the shop is closing, one that the staff would like to replicate and use to replace all the customers that aren’t quite so pleasant.

I expect everyone can remember a time when they realised that a confrontation they witnessed between a member of staff and a customer wasn’t all that it seemed to be.

Once in Marks and Spencer I overheard a lady taking a dress back for a refund, she told the member of staff she had worn it, but forgot to mention someone had spilt red wine down the front of it and no she wasn’t amused when she was refused a refund, the manager was called, screaming took place, well by one person anyway and the customer left saying she would never ever shop at M&S again, I would imagine the staff involved are still celebrating!

However anyone hearing the last remark “I will never shop here again” wouldn’t know the lady was being totally unreasonable and while they might think well there are two sides to every story might not have realised how ridiculous the comment was, it is not publicity the shop needs, it causes us to question consciously or subconsciously the suitability of the shop for our purchases, it shouldn’t, but it does.

I was behind a “lady” I use the phrase loosely, the other day at the counter of a deli store and stood with my mouth open, she was so rude.  The assistant wasn’t English and his use of the language wasn’t up to teaching standard, but then nor was hers, they had trouble in understanding each other, but while the member of staff tried his hardest to understand what he was being asked the customer increased her tone, volume and aggression, it was awful such rudeness isn’t necessary.

We can all get frustrated, the dress we want and need isn’t in stock but that is hardly the assistants fault, the bank can’t authorize your payment because you are missing a document, not the cashiers fault and the man on the end of the customer service line really can’t identify quite which button you are talking about when you say the square button to the left of the computer keyboard two rows down from the top.

Yes I get frustrated too we all do I am sure, but I do try to keep my frustration out of my words and actions and I try never to be rude to anyone, especially someone who isn’t 100% responsible for whatever it is that I am complaining about.  However if on the other hand if I witness something in a shop that I think unfair as in the case of the assistant at the deli counter I ask to speak to the manager, drop them an email or a comment on social media saying I was very impressed with the member of staff and offer my support.  I do hope it is taken into account and the member of staff I am praising is given some acknowledgement, sometimes just having somebody notice that someone else thought you did a good job is all the praise needed to make the work place just that little bit happier.

Remember the staff are the jewels in the crown of any business.

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