Monday, January 5, 2009

Whatever happened to Customer Service?

When I worked in retail sales MANY years ago, the saying "the customer is always right" really meant something. It meant that you did whatever you had to do to ensure a loyal, repeat customer. Today, not so much. Case in point:



Mary Ann said...

1. You are up waaayyyyy too early. Way. way way. Are you on central time?

2. Someone just sent me this video like two weeks ago!

I worked at Panera for a while, I was also a server for a is TOUGH business working with people's food. Psh. If you ever want to learn in the food industry. I seriously believe that very nice people take out all of the anger they've been holding inside on whoever is serving, preparing or otherwise tampering with their food. It's not pretty.

Anonymous said...

This girl works at our local Wal-mart!

Her "family" works all over SO. Illinois. They "wated" on me several times!

GLad to know she's hit the big time!

Anonymous said...

Can you believe Sherri's comment had yet ANOTHER typo? "Watted"?

How does someone "watt" on you?

She talks like a veri word!

I think she could use some advice..

Anonymous said...

I typed "wated", not "watted"!

If you're going to correct someone, do it CORRECTLY!

veri word: tudef

"Don't pretend you are tudef to hear what I am saying."

Annie K said...

What Mare said. Luckily I worked in a restaurant where we could throw a little sass at those kind of customers. And don't get me started on the people that bring their kids in and let them run amok... I'm just sayin'.

Helen said...

Many years ago, I worked at McDonald's, so, yeah, I usually try to be extra kind and patient to the server. But Bon Qui Qui was pushing it. She would have actually needed to call security if she pulled that on me on a bad day. ;-) Just kidding. You all know that my bark is worse than my bite, right.

katdish said...

Mare - Nah, I was fast asleep at 5 AM central time. I wrote this last night and scheduled it for the morning. I'm tricky like that.
I have a friend that was a waitress for years. She told me NEVER EVER send your food back because you never know what they're going to do to it. I worked in a pizza place for about 3 days. You and Annie are both right - some people are clueless. I was tempted to call "Sa-curity" several times.

Sherri/Gabby - Is there anyone else in there? Are we going to see something like the final scene in "Sybil" where all the little kids come out from behind the tree and introduce themselves? (Not that I mind, btw - I find your little spats with yourself IMMENSELY entertaining!)

Anonymous said...

Still to come...
Maria, Bernadine and Ivanka..

They'll all have their own blog sites.

Look for my updates.

Beth said...

While I think this clip is hilarious(because I totally know about 6 versions of this girl)...I'm gonna be serious for a second. I know, I know, Beth the Killjoy.

I saw a lot of teenagers and young adults go through the youth center and many of them came from families where no one worked for a variety of reasons...and most of them came from really rough backgrounds. And they turned 15 or 16 where they could go out and earn money for the first time, but they had NO IDEA what a work ethic was. They had never seen those things modeled before. So their first employer expects them to know certain things...and they don't...and they fail or get fired and they eventually give up and thus the cycle of poverty repeats. Same goes with education. It's just a different world. I cannot tell you the number of times that kids thought I was crazy for working instead of "getting my check every month." (Whole other discussion there...sorry...) And I cannot tell you the number of times I had to explain that Frank was my husband and not my boyfriend and that he was the father of all three of my children. (Again...whole other topic...what's my deal today?)

So when I see this, I laugh, but I can't help but be a little sad that Bon Qui Quis of this world that I've met are many in number and no one seems to want to help them live up to their potential. Instead they get made fun of on TV.

I'm not saying we should be ok with bad service. But I do have a lot more compassion for those behind the fast food counter than I used to....

Beth said...

You find meaning in cat videos...I find meaning in Mad TV....:P

And I'd put this on SCL, but I doubt everyone wants to read it...Frank and I have a running thing that the will of God is like Quantum Leap. God wants us to talk to a certain person or help them out...then we Quantum Leap to our next mission. Al, the guy only he can see and hear is kind of like the Holy Spirit....

By the way, Scott Bakula has a farm in upstate New York. Perfect slanket weather up there.

And what's with the snuggie people overcharging you?

Ok, I'll go feed my children some chex mix now.

Stephanie Wetzel said...

When I worked at Swensen's, we didn't take out our aggression on the customers, but on the owner. (Who, to rationalize just a little, was 100% psycho.) I suspect that years later, when she was cleaning the wall two stories up, she wondered why there were mummified tomato slices stuck to it.

We discovered that the best foods to throw against the wall were: cheeses, followed by lunch meat and juicy vegetables. Lettuce soaked in mayo worked okay though. We were resourceful like that.

wv: gnarrion
a particularly disgusting piece of roadkill.
"Today we passed 25 buzzards on the side of the road. They were gnawing on that nasty gnarrion in the ditch."

Anonymous said...

It is hilarious that you posted this today. I am planning to write a letter of complaint to a certain jewelry chain, which just might rhyme with "whales," or it might rhyme with "orange." I am not a complainer and I'm usually very understanding. However, I have also worked in a grocery store, at a department store, in a restaurant, and at a bridal store. I know how ridiculous customer service can be and how awful those types of jobs can be because of it. But, I still always had a smile on my face and met the customer's needs to the best of my ability. So, I do not care for being treated with attitude simply because my presence requires an employee to do his or her job.

Incidentally, the chick in that video works at every retail store, restaurant, and department store chain in Miami. I am NOT exaggerating. That was the biggest adjustment I had to deal with.

Beth - I completely see what you're saying. However, most employees do not get fired immediately. Most businesses have a discipline plan and those people probably get warnings and coaching before being fired. If they cannot respond to redirection and make gradual changes, then maybe losing a job is something that is necessary so they learn consequences. AND even if they don't get the coaching and get a second chance at that job, they usually know exactly why they were fired and they should be able to make changes for when they get another job. It's all about choices and learning from mistakes.

Anonymous said...

I supervise the front end of a Walmart superstore, and am sometimes horrified by what I hear and see from our employees. Many of the young people (and some of the older ones) we hire are clueless about work ethic and customer service, but with time, training, and loads of patience they can be taught, for the most part.

JML said...

I think that everyone should be forced to work in the food industry for at least a year. It teaches you patience and humility. On a less serious note, I can be like that at work sometimes, some people really do have annoyingly complicated orders, and I want to slap them. :)

Pam said...

Love the video~ and I've seen rudeness on both sides of the counter. It's never pretty. :-]

BeckeyZ said...

texasshawn, I'm amazed that Walmart has different managers for the "front end" of the store. Who gets the "back end?"

Customer service has gone by the wayside I'm afraid. Sometimes I'll find an employee who at least seems to care about the consumer. That's always nice.

Like at our Sonic...the kids there are super helpful, but I have a sneaky feeling it's because I tip them when I get good service and they know my car.

Anonymous said...

We have managers for each department. The front end consists of pretty much anyone who handles money, door greeters, and cart pushers. With well over 500 employees in our store, it takes a good sized team to run it.