UNITED STATES—It is safe to say the holiday season is going to be all over by the time you read this column and for many Americans including myself I am happy to say so. The holidays just sometimes bring a level of stress that is unwarranted and sometimes taxing on the body. The thing I expect to see during the holiday season is good customer service.
Look, I’m someone who has and does work in customer service industry. I know what it is like to deal with irate customers, rude people, and just nasty individuals. It comes with the territory of the industry you work in. Some days are better than others, but I just remind myself, I do my best to treat people the same way that I would want to be treated.
With that said, I had two experiences this past week where I did not receive the best customer service. I was doing a bit of Christmas shopping, at the mall/outlet and it was busy, but not crazy busy. I happened to want to visit one establishment, but got annoyed. Why? Well ever since the pandemic, a lot of retailers have been cautious by not allowing too many customers into the store at a single time. So you might see a line. I was about to enter one establishment where they had the markers out for customers, but guess what there was no one entering the store?
The person at the door refused to allow me to enter the store without going thru the marker, even though there was not a single person in that line or entering the store. The person at the door kept pointing to going thru a line when there was no line. It annoyed me, so we just decided not to go into the establishment and went elsewhere. It was a bummer because they lost a potential customer for something that was just silly and stupid in my honest opinion. I could not understand it and it made absolutely no sense to me at all.
I can see if people were waiting in that line to get into the store, but there was no one waiting in the line so that just annoyed me so much more. I enter another establishment where the crowd was not as potent as other retailers. I have a designer purse that I’m looking to purchase as a gift, and I’m waiting and waiting and waiting for someone to provide me service. It had to be a good 5 minutes I’m waiting for someone to assist me. My annoyance comes from the fact that in the corner of my eye I see three workers from a distance just chatting, not helping any customers.
I gave them a look hinting that help was needed and guess what, still didn’t get any help until I finally had to wave my hand to get their attention. I was seriously about 30 seconds from just exiting the establishment and not purchasing anything at all. I did finally get the service I wanted and I was pleased with it, but retailers have to be aware that customers do have patience, but you cannot expect people to wait a significant amount of time and not be serviced.
People’s time is valuable and if they feel it is being ignored or abused they will go somewhere else! This is just not in-person customer service, but this also applies to service provided over the phone. Usually when you’re dealing with companies on the phone for utilities or services that you’re paying for they are nasty, rude and could care less about you. As of late, I have encountered a few businesses that have gone above and beyond to help me out, it’s a rarity, but when it does indeed happen it makes you feel quite good to say the least America.
Taking the time to listen to the customer and his or her problems and making a way to solve the problem just makes the situation that much greater. The consumer wants to feel like he or she is being heard and if they are it brightens their response especially if they feel they may be taken advantage of. That is the last thing you want to see happen: you pay for a service and then you don’t get it. It seems around the holidays a lot of people are testy, but we are indeed learning there are major businesses and companies doing their absolute best to deliver top-notch service. With that said good customer service matters. It is the difference between repeat customers or losing a customer permanently. If businesses are not willing to give it, they will indeed suffer the consequences in the long run.
Written By Jason Jones