Friday, November 28, 2008

Customer Service

As I have just returned from a brief outing on Black Friday or whatever they call the day after Thanksgiving to retail. It occurred to me that customer service is no longer a priority in the retail sector at least in the big box stores. I thought about this before Thanksgiving as I had to pick something up rather quickly and popped into a Schnuck’s. Kroger is my normal store. After running in and getting the few items I needed as I walked out it occurred to me how nice everyone in the store had been to me. I was asked a couple of times if “I was finding everything OK”. All of the people seemed friendly and smiled and nodded. When I got to the check out another question about finding everything ok and the standard paper or plastic but the guy seemed genuine, which I truly think I have never heard before.

Then there was today. I understand that today is absolutely walking thru the bowels of hell, if you work retail. I have been there and done that in a couple of retail applications. Liquor Store New Years Eve and Christmas Holidays in a mall setting. Both were pretty much bad. However, I am still dumbfounded by the people who work retail and are rude and uncaring.
Wal-Mart has to be the worst. I think they know you are there because of price and don’t give a damn whether you buy something or not. They know that there will be another sap, right behind you, to take your place. Then you have Target they were extremely nice to me today, the check out lady had the proper Santa hat on and greeted every customer kindly and showed care and concern if they had even the slightest issue. I am sure somewhere in those 15 lanes of cashiers was a butthole, but not within my ear shot.

And while we are on customer service, I do not eat fast food as a rule. However, if I do it is Backyard Burger or Chick fil a only. These two restaurants could offer the best customer service around. Now explain to me how you get a bunch of who gives a damn high school kids to speak to every person who walks in the door and bring you your food in a nice an service oriented manner. They should bottle that kool aid and sell it to the big box stores, especially this time of year.

If you want to pay top dollar no doubt Oak Hall, James Davis, Ann Taylor and any other outlet owned by a real person who might be in the building is a good customer service experience more than likely.

So this year lets all support the local independents be restaurant or retail services. We might spend a couple of bucks more but I will almost guarantee you will enjoy it.

Happy holidays and hope all of your customers service exchanges this year are kind ones.

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