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The dreadful days of shopping

December 2, 2016
Shepherdstown Chronicle

At this time of year, especially, it is essential to provide a positive customer service experience.

While shopping is a fact of life that nearly all of us have to deal with, many on a daily basis, we certainly all face it during the holiday season. For some it is a joy, therapeutic in its entirety; to others, it is a chore hated above all others.

Added to the shopping trip is often a visit to an eatery where, again, customer service is key.

Regardless of whether you like shopping or hate it, once out there in the throes of checkout lines and customer service individuals, there is little more frustrating than a cashier or a waiter who is rude.

Visiting a store or even some place like a car dealership, which we did over the "black" holiday shopping weekend, should not be made more stressful by salespeople who do not listen to your needs or provide you with the answers to questions you asked.

At our recent visit to said car dealership, after explicitly telling the young salesgirl our budget, she promptly walked to her manager to converse. This back and forth went on several times, which, in itself, was a total strike against the company.

Adding to the experience, said manager provide keys to only two vehicles (out of a lot of hundreds) that supposedly fit our needs and budget. After saying no to one of a non-attractive color--off we went for a test drive in the other. Needless to say, it was a dream car. We were amazed it could fit our budget.

But, wait, it couldn't fit our budget. After all the paperwork was filled out, the bottom line--even with "Black Friday" deals--was more than $10,000 over the budget we provided. What part of that figure did these folks not understand?

This experience was a waste of nearly three hours of our time and theirs and the "manager" who we requested to finally speak to in person was simply rude and dismissive. Apparently he had better things to do than try to sell us a vehicle.

Topping off that experience, what should have been a quiet, relaxing dinner later that weekend was an time where, because the meal was not cooked to our satisfaction (steak charcoal burnt....twice....) we faced a restaurant owner and a family member who worked there as well, who found it acceptable to hurl curse words and insults at us.

This type of behavior makes me never want to go beyond on-line shopping again. I guess the point of this ramble is that if one is in customer service, be customer oriented. Even if you don't feel well, fake it. Put on a smile and say hello.

Try to at least pretend that you care about the fact that you are waiting on and interacting with someone. While the jobs are often low-paying, take pride in what you do and do it well. When you do, an upward move is likely. With a negative outlook, negative behavior toward those who you serve in your job, you will not make it in a higher paying position.

A smile, a 'hello' and a little honesty go a long way in getting repeat business.

 
 
 

 

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