Ruse on May 7, 2015 at 9:56 am
From recent experiences which range from excellent to substantially poor, I am motivated to Blog about this subject.
As a way too young teenager eager to make some money, I started a holiday job in a camera shop and then graduated at the age of 16 to a shoe shop. Working weekends and holidays I learned first hand how difficult people can be, however this is an essential part of understanding customer service. When you are able to deal successfully with an unreasonably difficult customer without being rude, you have learnt the art! In my later experience I came into contact with many different levels of customers (from labourers to CEO’s) and never once have had the need to be rude to a customer. (Someone being rude to you is a whole other Blog!!)
So what is it that I deem good service and bad service? Well, when I am parting with my hard-earned cash whether it costs a few Rands/Dollars/Pounds etc. or a substantial amount of money, I expect the same treatment. Walking into a shop and being ignored, hounded, watched as if you are a potential thief, disregarded, treated as if you don’t know what you are talking about (amongst many others) are all the basic rules one would think people automatically are aware of. No way! Not looking someone in the eye when communicating with them, mumbling that one cannot hear or understand what is being said, clicking the tongue and actually talking about the customer in another language in front of them are all offences committed.
Why do these things happen? Surely if you are a business owner you want the very best representation of your product/brand? People are often employed because they are desperate for a job and are then paid poorly, in addition to this they are not always trained properly. They have no idea of what the products are they are supposed to be selling or representing. They become defensive and frustrated, resulting in rude employees. (Some people are just rude period but should then obviously not be in customer service!! Attitude is everything.)
Recently we were down at the coast and the attitude of some of the shop owners and assistants was so appalling I will not go back to those particular places! The terrible thing is that they need the business more than anyone! If people working in customer service understand the bigger picture, everyone wins. Everything you do is a DIRECT reflection on you as an individual. Doing a great job no matter what it might be will get you noticed and can lead to better things.
Of course there are absolutely fantastic people out there. There is a couple running a place called The Rambling Rose in Cape St Francis who definitely know what fantastic service is. There is a manager called Loveness at Ciao Baby in Johannesburg, who is excellent with her customers. There is a Personal Shopper Sharon from Henri Bendel in New York who is just fabulous. The staff at Woolies generally are friendly and very helpful. The ladies at Spitz in Sandton are extremely helpful. The sad thing is that this is just a handful, one should be able to only single out those who are poor!!! These however are outstanding.
What would I expect? To be listened to. To be kept informed when necessary (it should not be the customer who follows up on queries). To be treated with respect (look at me when you address me). Greet, say please, thank you and good-bye!!!
No rocket science, just good manners…