Friday, May 18, 2007

Customer Care .... P.S.

Two other things that often intrigue both Annie and me about customer care:

1 Those allegedly ‘helpful staff’ in clothes stores who approach me when I’m obviously trying to browse only and I’m doing my level best to avoid eye contact. They still INSIST on asking ‘Can I help you?’

2 Those staff behind the counter who look me in the eye and say ‘Next please’ as I stand in an orderly queue anyway … I can work it out without being told .. honest … I really can!!

I guess I really must get out more :-)

Do you have any classics you can share?


Anonymous said...

Although I also find myself "harrumphing" when folks do and say inane and obviously unnecessary things, this post caused me to ponder...

What has happened to (pardon the American idiom) "give 'em a break!" The front-liners, that is. They've undoubtedly been trained/required to inquire (can I help you) or direct (next please).

How about a smile and "no thanks, just browsing" to the first and a smile and a simple "thanks" to the second.

I believe that the buyer/provider relationship is just that, a relationship. As in all relationships, there are responsibilities on both sides. The basic ones are things like civility, benefit of the doubt, even kindness. Until proven otherwise, why not assume the other means well, is really trying to do a good job and is working relatively hard?

Think of yourself as a front-line service provider. Your services? Perhaps smiles and good wishes. I'll just bet that you'll receive better service in return...nearly every time.

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Steve and thanks again for your comments

I feel I am a very fair kind customer and the sort of person who ALWAYS adopts the ‘give ‘em a break’ style at least twice and sometimes more. Often however in clothes shops I walk out the door rather than stay around to be repeatedly approached.

It really is not a big deal for me to walk out but it may be big deal for the shop if many customers feel the way I do about being harassed.

I have worked at the front line a great part of my life in healthcare and in the hospitality industry (behind the bar in pubs) and I’m sure you and I agree there is a balance to be found between pressurising customers and keeping a respectful distance.