Customer Service

I’m currently watching Mary Portas’ Secret Shopper programme on Channel 4. I am astounded that Chris, owner of Pilot doesn’t invest in customer service. If you’re in retail, how do you not know your shoppers?

I’ve come to realise that the attitude of a company reflects the attitude of the boss at the top. If they are money-grabbing, fat cats who don’t really understand their staff, their motivation and well-being, then this will reflect on the shop floor. After all, if your employer doesn’t care about you, why should you care about your job. You’re just taking the money and running, right?

I’ve always believed that if you treat your employees right, then customer service should not be too far behind. After all, it’s hard to hide a happy person, and it’s always nice to meet someone who loves their job. Their enthusiasm will naturally ooze through. Employers will also gain employee loyalty, which means less staff turnover and low recruitment fees. Win, win for all.

In retail, customer service should be king. That’s not to say that the customer is always right. I’ve spent around seven years working in retail and have seen the best and worst in people. I’ve customer service drilled into me and in turn, drilled it into my staff. All you need is a smile and an acknowledgement that the customer is welcome and not an annoyance. So, seeing a boss like Chris has dismayed me. Is his staff not worth investing in? Doesn’t his customers deserve more than a stroppy sale assistant with a face like a slapped arse?

I don’t know about you, but if I have a helpful, knowledgeable assistant helping me, I tend to spend more. If I can return my face cream which as given me spots and exchange for another product, I’ll come back. If somethings works for me, I will come back.

Here’s another way of looking at it – if you’ve had good customer service, you’ll tell five people. If you’ve had bad customer service, you’ll tell 10 people. Now, I’m no brain surgeon, but who wants to be known for something bad?

Do you return to a shop if you know you’ll get a smile out of the shop assistant? Or is it all about the price and to hell with customer service?

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4 thoughts on “Customer Service

  1. I have learned over the past few years that customer service is more about the amount of response you give to a customer more than actually solving the problem they have. Even if you cant fix their problem, if they feel they’ve been listened to and you’ve done your best, most reasonable people will go away satisfied. Having done a lot of digital customer service, I aim to give as much advice as I can but if I can’t help them, I let them know as politely as possible. Most people are satisfied if they think you have done your best.

  2. You are absolutely right. If the boss doesn’t care about their staff, just about how much money they can make, the staff will not care about anything beyond showing up and getting paid at the end of the month. Everyone can be replaced, but that doesn’t mean you can treat your staff as if they are disposable.
    As far as good customer service goes, of course, it matters. However, I personally can’t stand shop assistans who constanly hover over your shoulder offering to help. It only makes me feel more pressured to buy and results in me getting out of the shop as soon as possible without any purchase.

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