Posts Tagged ‘customer service’

Improving Customer Service

For years, I’ve experienced a decline in the level of service at my local grocers and restaurants.  Long gone are the grateful smiles when I enter a place of business.  No longer am I greeted and asked if I would like to receive help.  Eye contact?  What’s that?  Doing business has become such a painful experience, I stopped looking forward to it.  Welcoming smiles and helpfulness are more the exception than the rule. 

Well, instead of complaining about how horrible service has become without telling managment about my experience and giving them an opportunity to address my issues, I recently decided to go on a customer service survey completion campaign.  It’s quite easy!  I simply began visiting web sites that are printed at the bottom of most receipts and spend 5-10 minutes answering questions and providing feedback.  They ask for it, so I give it to them.  It’s a win-win  (if they are truly committed to changing).

One such submission of feedback recently garnered an immediate phone call asking what could be done to improve my shopping experience.  The response was so overwhelming, I couldn’t have written a more perfect script to describe it.

Today brought about new opportunities provide feedback.  I’m happy to report that of three stores I visited today, I had nothing but glowing feedback to provide to all three establishments.  All feedback does not need to be negative.  If associates in stores care enough to provide a great customer service experience, I can provide feedback directly to them – I can also tell store management on the spot, complete online survey requests, and send direct messages to their management and corporate.  Who wouldn’t want to be recognized for doing a great job?!

Do you have a good, bad, or ugly customer service story you’d like to share? 

Love to all!

CC

Southern Hospitality

The saying is that if you experience bad service, you tell ten friends and word spreads like wildfire, but how often do we share good service experiences?

On a recent extended trip to a southern state, my family and I visited countless establishments for purposes of rounding up groceries, purchasing gas, shopping for clothing, and partaking in many of the local activities.  One thing that stood out in each and every transaction was how incredibly NICE everyone was.  Considering that most of the people who helped us weren’t in tipped positions, I felt that they were genuinely pleasant people with whom to do business. 

I don’t get that kind of service in my current hometown, which is why I’ve added tons of businesses to my “do-not-shop” list.  If my checkout clerk or attendant  is bothered by my presence, I simply “help” him or her by refusing to spend more time and money in a way that would benefit them.  In other words, I don’t support bad attitudes and customer service with my hard-earned dollars.  I spend them where I feel appreciated.

In my experience, the shops and restaurants in my area can take a few customer service (and human-kind) pointers from our southern neighbors.

Thanks for the truly great customer service to my southern friends!  I look forward to seeing you again soon!

Do you have a story you’d like to share about great customer service?  Post it here!

Love to all!

CC

Grocery Store Woes

If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time in grocery stores. Boy, has customer service changed! Clerks rarely make you feel welcome, checkout lines are long, and full-service checkout is suffering the same demise as the Sony Walkman.

Is it just me, or have you noticed that checkout clerks don’t seem happy to serve their customers and they really don’t want us to “come again”. We’re either interupting their gossip with a coworker, interfering with their text messaging or phone calls, or expecting them to return our plastic forms of payment or customer loyalty cards (as if they know what loyalty means) to our hands and not the check-writing counter. Speaking of counters, who still writes checks in stores? That’s a topic that deserves it’s own discussion.

Another trend has emerged within the past decade. Stores don’t seem to schedule enough people to work and they only open a small number of available registers even during expected rush-hours. What do they care? They already have you waiting in a line as long as a football field with a cart full of goods right? Not always! Twice in the past month, I’ve walked into a grocery store just to have to go right back out in search of a grocery cart. Seriously? Not a cart in sight? Yes, seriously; not a cart in sight.

Finally, what’s up with the move toward self-checkouts? I’m OK with self-checkouts for a small number of items, but why do these pennypinchers expect me to scan and bag large amounts of my family’s latest wants and needs? One local superstore typically has only 2-3 manned registers. Our checkout options aren’t very good; we can: use the express self-checkout lanes, use the “I’ve got a ton of groceries – maybe a cart or two” self-scan (and bag everything by myself!) lanes, or wait in a long, winding line for full-service. By the way, full-service doesn’t always include help bagging items and loading them into your cart. Many-a-times, the clerk handed over my receipt and began the next victim’s order – whether or not my items have been properly prepared for the trip home.

Fellow shoppers aren’t being let off the hook by this writer. The next time you’re finished loading your groceries onto the conveyer belt, please be courteous and use the divider thingy – especially if you’re much closer to it than the person behind you. Oh, and don’t forget to say, “please” and “thank you” to your checkout clerk – even if they don’t make you feel welcome. Then tell a store manager, so that future shopping trips can be a more pleasant exchange of money and service.

Maybe telling a manager won’t even matter, because one day, I’ll walk into a store and the only employees available will be self-scan registers that sometimes go haywire and have to reboot in the middle of my order. But hey, at least they’ll have good enough manners to thank me for shopping with {insert grocer or superstore here}.

Love to all! Let’s discuss.

CC