Monday, September 18, 2006

TELL 'EM WHY YOU MAD: Poor Customer Service

I was recently having an everyday convo with a friend of mine about customer service and how bad its gotten. We pretty much agreed that saying it's gone downhill would be an extreme understatement. Customer service is one of those skills that any human being should be able to have. It's not Rocket Science. Geez, it's not even simple Add and Subtract kind of math. But it is required when going for a position in a supermarket, mall or any kind of retail store. I haven't applied for a position in years where customer service is required but I'm sure the applications ask if you have any experience in it. So how are people getting these jobs but aren't qualified leaving us, the customers, feeling berated and confused. Therae's the saying that The Customer Is Always Right. Now, I won't whole heartedly agree with that statement but I will say that the statement there is so far from the truth nowadays that I'm afraid of having to deal with the employees for fear that I might actually have a question or need help.

My feeling is this: Customer service is dead! R.I.P.! Gone Fishing! On Vacation!

Now my question is this: Where did it go? Why aren't we fighting to get it back? What are we doing to reverse this epidemic?

Here's a paraphrased excerpt from my friend's email conversation:

"...Dude, mention how (expletive) annoying the (Retail Chain Store) in Waterbury is.. that we still ride out to Naugatuck and Wallingford instead of going to the one in our own town...because the people they got working there SUCK. You ask them a question and you want to say "I'm sorry. Am I interrupting your day by making you work? Yeah, my bad for not letting you finish your conversation with your homegirl (who, by the way, works there too) about how stank your baby daddy is and about the party you went to the night before...which everyone in the freakin' store knows thanks to your loud, rude, no work ethic having self." I'm saying, just making minorities look bad daaaaaaaaaamn!..."

Don't give me attitude, make angry facial expressions, or get mad at me because I need help. I didn't tell you to get that job. I didn't make you come to work. Leave all that negativity at home!

To put the question into a form that "most" young kids (who are the core of our customer service problem), WHAT'S REALLY GOOD?!?!

1 comment:

  1. I don't blog but I had to chime in on this topic.

    The De-evolution of Customer Service

    I recently went to a mini-mart to purchase one of my favorite drinks, a Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino. After grabbing my drink I made my way to the checkout counter, contemplating the cold creamy delight that was destined to hit my pallet very soon, this is where I had a revelation. The “Lead Sales person”, (I call her this because it said so on her badge), grunts for my attention, not greeted, I guess this meant she was ready to ring me out. I gave her my credit card to purchase my drink and after it was all said in done I said, “Thank you” in which I received another grunt, which meant the transaction was over. The question I asked myself as I was walking out the door of the mini-mart was, when did we revert back to the Neanderthal-like style of customer service? And where is this coming from? This isn’t the first time I received this type of service (Dell), it’s just the first time I actually sat back and thought about it.

    Before joining the military I worked seven years in the retail business, from crappy beginnings at CVS to not as crappy endings as a manager at the Electronics Boutique (now Gamestop a.k.a. EB). Through all of these very hard and frustrating times I’ve always maintained my quality of service from greeting to farewell, from old promotions to new promotions. I hated my jobs, I had nothing but clear and outright disdain for the task of pandering to the sometimes undeserving customer, but I knew if I did anything less than pander my job would be in jeopardy. The quality of service that I provided was a direct reflection of who I was and how I was brought up and I couldn’t see myself breaking those vows that I made intravenously. To explain a little further of how much I hated my job here is a direct quote that I said at the closing of one of my holiday shifts at the EB, “I hate my F#$king job, G@#da#$it...”. But with that I still provided that best service that I could muster at that time for my customers.

    The thing that bewilders me the most is the state that our country is now, financially. There are people that can’t even find a job at McDonald’s and here we have “customer service reps” taking a large ill spirited dump on the retail industry. Where is the accountability? These jerks need to know that their job is at risk for anything less than favorable customer service and every minute of every day that this is not happening is a push out the door of employment to the unemployment line. If you don’t like to smile or greet people go work in a factory or something or maybe in a morgue, I promise you won’t get any complaints there. Oh yeah to you companies that want to save from your bottom line by out sourcing quit it. If I have to call Dehli to speak to 15 idiots that I can’t understand and they can’t understand me, I’m going to flip. Also, I know your game your name is not really “Greg”, so stop it. Sorry about that I had to vent a little.