No business can be successful without customers who return to buy products or services, but it seems to me that not all businesses pay attention to how good their customer service is to ensure this kind of loyalty.
I’m going to have a bit of a rant. Over the past week, I have been in several shops where the customer service was very poor. I have a Tesco Express on my high street that I normally avoid like the plague, having had a poor customer service experience a few years ago, but necessity forced me in there the other day. A flick of the eyes was the only signal I received from the person on the till to come over – no ‘Next please’ or ‘Would you like to come over?’ Then, when I arrived at the till, the sales assistant decided that it was more important to pick up paper rubbish from around his feet for about 20-30 seconds before even acknowledging me again. Then, when I did have his attention, there was no communication, neither verbal nor eye contact. There was barely a word when I paid and certainly no verbal sign-off either. I almost walked out with my purchase not made. But was I surprised? No. I’ve never been impressed by Tesco staff and this just made me resolve never to enter a Tesco again.
Then yesterday, I was in Marks and Spencer returning some items. I was served by a young woman who not only couldn’t even raise a smile in greeting, barely looked up from the desk and actually moaned to her colleague at the next till that she was fed up with her name being called by other staff asking her to help out (in other words, do her job). Whilst I don’t expect a in-depth conversation at the till, a little polite interaction should be made. I was at another till in Marks ten minutes later and the experience was entirely different: a woman, older, was polite and pleasant, and yes, it made a difference.
What is the matter with stores who don’t train their staff in basic rules about customer service? You can always tell when staff have been trained – I can name three shops where I can’t remember ever having poor customer service – Waitrose, Laura Ashley and Lakeland. The staff here greet you, ask if you found everything you wanted, and wish you a good day.
To be honest, customer service etiquette should come naturally - you shouldn’t need to be trained. No matter how bad you are feeling, whether grumpy or have a headache:
These are customer service basics and I’m shocked by how stores in particular get away with staff not acting in this way.
Poor customer service can lose a business clients or customers. How good is yours? Are your staff acting as good ambassadors for your company?
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