by Michelle Porchia
Many years ago there was an article talking about the difficulty of getting service when you are doing retail shopping, that it was hard to find someone to help you and when you did find someone to help, they acted like they didn’t want to help you or it was annoyance to help you. I’m going to suggest that you look at the responsibility of customer service from the customer side.
Many customers shop, change their mind and then just stick the initial items they selected anywhere. The next customer comes along looking for that same misplaced item. The store associate looks up the item and, yes, it is supposed to be in the store but it is not where it belongs. Now the dilemma: how do you find a misplaced item in an entire store? Now, the current customer is irritated because they want the item the store is supposed to have but can’t find. The associate looks back, the store looks bad, and the customer is very unhappy.
Another scenario is a previous customer puts a regular price item in a clearance section. The next customer comes along and wants the regular price item at the clearance price because it is in the clearance section.
You may be customer number one; you may be customer number two and you may be neither. If you ARE customer number one, if you don’t want an item and don’t want to put it back yourself, give it to a store associate or leave it with the cashier. If you are customer number two, please understand things don’t get put back in the right place and it is not the associate’s fault.
Points to consider:
* If an associate asks if they can help you and you don’t want their help, nicely say, “No, thank you.”
* Just because it’s on the website doesn’t mean it’s in the store.
* Just because the internet says it’s in the store doesn’t mean it is. (It takes time to update store sales with the internet inventory.)
* Lines are a part of life. When all cashiers available are at the registers, exercise a little patience. They’ll get you out as soon as they can. (Choose a non-busy time to shop. Lunchtime and right after work are going to be busy.)
* Be prepared. While waiting in line, get your coupons out, get your credit card ready, etc. Don’t wait until it’s time to pay to start fumbling through your purse or pockets.
Customer service is a two-way street. Employees in the service industry are there to assist you. At the same time, it is difficult for them to assist you if you make it difficult. If you're a good consumer, most of the time you’ll get good customer service and the item(s) you want.
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