21 Sep 2016

Who are your staff serving?

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Satisfied Customer Happy Client Nametag Shirt Words

Satisfied Customer Happy Client Nametag Shirt Words

You would like to think your staff are loyal to you, put you and your business above everything when in the work place,  look to ensure that your customers have a great customer experience and reason to return, wouldn’t you?

My experiences last week in one store show that this unfortunately isn’t always the case, I felt that my presence really wasn’t welcome, I spent quite a lot of money but I definitely disturbed the staff when I wanted to walk round their store, spoke to them and then to top it all wanted to pay and leave. No my interests were definitely not top of the agenda when I went to my local DIY and garden centre.

My first problem was getting my trolley actually into the store and navigating it round the display items. Lovely to see the store want me to see their goods displayed in the entrance but I needed to actually get into the store with my trolley before I was really in the mood to browse.  It was like driving a car round a furniture show room and anyone not as determined as I was would I am sure have given up and gone elsewhere, but I was determined, so on I went bashing into everything and apologising to innate pieces of furniture as I went.

Among the trays of plants was a beautiful blue hydrangea, the only one, alone in a display of geraniums it looked rather out of place. I wondered how much it cost, so I picked it up, hoping to see the price on the pot but disaster fell, the whole pot fell apart in my hands.  The plastic was cracked, the pot disintegrated, I was covered in potting compost and still there was no price ticket.  I looked about for an assistant to advise, it would after all be a shame if someone else picked it up and got potting compost all over them too but I could see no one, so I carefully put the pot on the floor hoping that a member of staff would notice it before someone else picked it up.

These things happen, but surely when the assistants were watering they could have noticed a lone blue hydrangea in the geranium section and on further inspection find the pot was falling apart, my interests wouldn’t have been addressed if I have been smartly dressed, didn’t want to be covered in soil or wanted to buy the priceless lone blue hydrangea.

After a few moments I found an assistant watering the plants in the shade, my opportunity I thought to tell her where the plant with the split pot was, but do you know what she said when I explained, her actual words were “I am trying to stay in this section as much as I can today as it is in the shade and it is so hot”, no I said a bit confused by the reply, the plant is on the floor over there pointing to a section in the sun, I put it on the floor so people would notice the pot and not pick it up. Then she looked at me as though I had suggested she lie in the sun on top of all the plants and sun bathe and I realised that my interests and those of the store were not priority, whereas her being in the shade were. I had to say something so I said well I hope someone from the store gets to it before another customer has all the compost down their clothes and left her in the shade drowning the plants in that shady section while leaving those in the sunny section to die of thirst.

How odd I thought, are we as customers that much of a nuisance, I hadn’t been rude to anyone, asked awkward questions, complained and was just about to spend quite a bit of money but my customer experience couldn’t really be recommended, I decided I wanted to leave, so the next step would be to navigate my trolley to the cash desks and pay, normally quite a simple task

My navigation skills by this time were greatly improved so I got to the desk without a problem. One cashier was having an in depth discussion about something with a customer whether it was a store related discussion or not was debateable, another cashier was on the floor looking for, well I don’t know what and another cashier was moving her chair from one station to another.  Obviously the seat wasn’t the right height and she wanted to see if that of her colleague was, so she was like one of the bears in Goldilocks and the three bears trying the porridge.  To add to all this there was an elderly lady walking with the aid of a walking frame into the store via the exit checkout, but for the staff she might as well have been invisible, her interests like ours were ignored.  I could feel there was a queue forming behind and around me, while we all stood watching the cashiers do everything but serve their customers, time was passing and no one looked or acknowledged our presence and we (the audience) were growing in number, one man said what’s happening here, another asked if I was being served, another who was serving, I had no idea but someone needed to do something, take action, my interests were being ignored so in a rather loud voice I said, “Excuse me is anyone serving here”, I have no idea why I said excuse me, other than I am British and we seem to apologise even when we shouldn’t.   The result was, well if looks could have killed I would not be writing about my experiences today, the assistant with the chair at the wrong level looked at me as though I was stupid, said of course and began waving her arms to me to come over, I can’t say she “served” me, she was civil, just about, and took my money.

Would I visit the store again, probably, it supplies some of the things I need to buy, would I go to another store with better customer service if one opened………..what do you think?  That store, that day was really there for the benefit of its staff,I just hope they appreciate it.



One Response to Who are your staff serving?
  1. Whenever I experience bad customer service I try never to go back to the place again. Sometimes I’m even cross enough to put a Tweet out into the universer about my experience. Whether it makes any difference or not I’ve no idea. I’d also like to say that when I experience great customer service I keep on coming back for me and I shout it out too!


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