Today’s post is something different from me, and it might sound like I’m moaning! You have been warned!
I work in retail, and as a company we regularly get ‘mystery shopped’, this is where a member of the public will come into stores and shop, but while doing so will score you and your store and colleagues on certain criteria, set up by that specific company. Mostly you’ll be scored on how you deal with and serve a customer. There is a specific process we have to go through during our working day, to serve customers and we’re scored on this particular process.
As a branch we don’t do too badly, we’re not awesome, we miss the mark occasionally but we’re pretty good!
My question is, do other companies do this? Are other retailers actively trying to improve their customer service?
Because from my experiences while out shopping recently, it would appear that customer service, is actually very low on the list of priorities for some retailers.
I was shopping with my Hubby recently in an out of town retail park near us and I went into what I suppose is called a department store, this is a store of high profile retailers under one roof. At this moment in time I’m not going to name and shame, as I have already complained directly to the company about my experiences while in this store and I am waiting for a reply to my email, but I have to say I’m not hopeful of even getting a reply.
Anyway, I went into this store to buy from a specific department, I knew what I wanted and thankfully I found it and I was a happy bunny, so off I went to pay for my purchases. While at the cash desk I was served by a man, who I have to say seems thoroughly miserable in his job. I paid for my items which came to £32, not a measly amount of money in my book, so I expect to be treated with a bit of respect, however this gentleman was very off hand, rude and downright dismissive. I asked if I could use my NUS card with this purchase and was told in a very gruff manner that no I couldn’t as the items were already discounted, but when I mentioned that I had received double discount at another local branch, again his reply was rude and he fobbed me off with ‘it’s manager’s discretion’ to give discount. Which is probably fair enough but I wasn’t served by the manager in the local store!
My issues with this company isn’t that I didn’t get the double discount, it’s how I was treated and how I was told I couldn’t have the discount that has if I’m brutally honest p$*&ed me off!
I don’t care how much a customer spends in your store, they have chosen to spend their hard earned cash in your shop, the least you can do is treat that customer with respect and politeness. Not like they are something you have trodden in!
But this wasn’t the only store I felt like the customer service was lacking. It was Sunday the day we went shopping, I know how much of a pain working on a Sunday is, but that’s no excuse for shoddy service.
I was in a famous shoe shop, also that day and I was willing to spend over £30 on shoes for work, and although I was served quickly, I felt like the assistants were going through the motions to get the money in the till and I didn’t receive a very personal service. The shoes I picked weren’t any good for me and I wasn’t offered any alternatives or was given any advice on which styles might be suitable, so in the end I walked out of that shop and they lost a sale!
I visited 3 stores that day (it wasn’t a big shopping day!) and in all 3 stores I felt like my custom wasn’t appreciated. It felt like the assistants, just didn’t want to be there, and found giving good customer service was just a pain in the bum!
I’ve worked in retail on and off since I was 16, I’m not going to sit here and say I’m the best in the biz at customer service but I try and treat customers with respect and politeness, just how I would like to be treated myself when I’m out shopping.
In these days of increased competition and increased online sales, I would hope that companies are putting time, money and effort into training their staff in customer service, but it would seem that this isn’t the case.
Working in retail, can be hell on earth, customers can be rude, aggressive, and I’ve seen things customers do that would make you give up all hope in humanity.
But you know what it can be a great job too, you get to work with some great people, and you meet some truly lovely customers, plus the job is so fast paced the days truly do fly over!
My point is treat people how YOU would like to be treated and you won’t go far wrong.
Treat people like they’re s*%*on your shoe and well they’ll vote with their feet and take their hard earned cash to another company who do actually treat customers with respect!
Have you found customer service to be lacking? Let me know in the comments.
Lots of Love
Edited to say, that I have had a reply from the company I complained to, I got an apology and the company asked for the Gentleman’s name which I gladly provided. I’m hoping this guy improves how he treats his customers, but if I’m honest, I don’t think that will happen!