Does Good Customer Service Still Exist?
The customer is always right…or are they?
The days of the obliging, helpful, do-anything-for-you shop assistant seem to be numbered, as more and more of us come to accept bad customer service as the norm. After a particularly bad shopping experience, our new columnist Weekend Mum asks the question – why is good customer service now a novelty, not the norm?
For some, shopping is a sport, but for me and most of the mums I know – it lays somewhere between a battlefield and a treat. There’s the weekly shop – chaotic, child or two hanging off the always-wobbly trolley, throwing in whatever they find on the shelf and then there’s the seldom seen self-purchase, where we give ourselves a little treat.
Sure, in the supermarket I’d like the person at the checkout to get me through the ordeal as quick as possible. A smile and no looks of judgement as I try to placate the littlest with whatever treat sits suggestively next to the till wouldn’t go amiss, but aside from that, I’m easy to please.
It’s when I’m actually shopping on the High Street where I expect a little bit more effort to be made. No, I don’t want the staff to pat me on the head or compliment me on my purchases, but a bit of courtesy is at least expected. After all, isn’t going to the shop meant to be a real experience – one that we supposedly can’t get online?
Why is it that that despite a lack of jobs, many shop employees feel that they don’t even have to acknowledge customers as they reach the checkout? How is it that it many believe that it’s perfectly polite to continue chatting to their friend behind the counter and then throw a bag at me before dismissing me and onto the next one? Is it really got to the point where we’ll just sit back and take downright rude staff?
Now admittedly, there are scores of staff who will do their upmost to help customers and when I run into them, it’s a real treat. The sad truth is that it feels as if the majority of staff at my high street simply want to be elsewhere and make me feel that I’m being somewhat of an inconvenience just by trying to buy something from their shop. More fool me if I try and ask for any help in trying to locate an item or ask if they have a different size – how are they supposed to know that, they only work there?!
And it happens at nearly every store I go to, most shockingly at the ones where you think you’re paying a bit more for some courtesy. So is it just me, or are the apathetic, unhelpful and sometimes downright rude staff becoming more and more common place?
Where have you had the best and worst customer services experiences?