Friday, December 11, 2009

The Customer Service Grinch Part 2

Ok so my last odd day I talked about the bad telephone customer service so today my Grinch is the bad in person customer service.

I'm telling this to all business people - customer service is key (well and good products). You could have great products, great prices and lousy customer service and people won't come back. People want to feel like they are valued and that you appreciate them spending money in your store. Otherwise I have hundreds of other options I could go to instead.

Now, I'm not going off the customer is always right principal or you have to kiss the customer's ass. I'm saying act like a decent human being - be kind, be helpful, be respectful. If a customer gets an attitude with you - take a deep breath and smile and listen. Half the time that's all they want anyway - is someone to let them vent. And it wouldn't kill you to try to make whatever their problem is go away (replace the broken merchandise, give them a coupon, whatever...).

I'm going to stop here and say I worked retail for about three years and all my jobs since I've had to deal with clients/customers/outside and inside people. So I'm not saying this as a whining customer. I've had to deal with real jerks but I always take a deep breath and realize how I act reflects on my company.

So here are my examples. I'll try to be brief and funny.

1. NY and CO SPTC Mall Grinch
Ok I was nice and didn't use names in the other blog and in this one I won't except in instances where I actually complained about service and still didn't get good treatment.

So I head off to this pretty ritzy mall that's in the suburbs of Richmond. I decided to go in NY and Co and browse. Now, I had come straight from work so I wasn't dressed in sweats or looking like a bum (which can affect service although it shouldn't). I go in the store and there are two people working - one girl was at the register and then went into the back and the other was close to the door folding sweaters. Neither said hi when I came in. I thought ok - like I said I don't need my ass kissed but since I'm the only person in the store it wouldn't kill you to say "Welcome to New York and Co". So I walk around and find this shirt on a mannequin I want to try on. I look around the store twice (walking by the sales person each time) looking for said shirt out on the floor. Does the woman even once look up or ask me if she could help me - no. Finally, I check the size on the mannequin and it's my size. I go over to the woman who is still folding shirts and say "Excuse me."
She looks up and waits.
"Do you have anymore of the red shirt on display over there?" I point to the mannequin.
"That's the only one."
"Well, it's my size do you mind if I take it off of her and try it on. I think it's cute."
"Could you try something else on instead?"
Excuse me? "I really want to try that shirt on. It's in my size."
"I'd rather you try on another shirt and if you decide you want to buy that shirt I'll take it off."
First, I'm not buying a shirt that I don't even know what it looks like on. And second, I don't get the reasoning on trying on any random shirt instead of that one.
I take a deep breath, "I'd really rather just try that shirt on."
"Well I don't want to take it off the mannequin."
At this point I want to punch this girl but since I'm not a violent person and I don't have any desire to be arrested. I manage to smile at her. Let me explain too this isn't some bratty teenager bored and pissed she's making $8 an hour. This is an adult - a woman who was probably older than I was. "Ok that's fine. I'll go to VCC then."
"Do you want me to call for you and see if they have it?"
"Don't bother." I snapped and walked out.

Now I was going to drop it and not say anything but then I got to thinking. The economy sucks and I was basically begging to buy something in your store and you're going to cop an attitude with me. I don't think so. So I emailed NY and Co from their website. I praised the VCC store (b/c they do have good customer service and I've never had a problem) and then told my story about the SPTC store and the sales assistant. I thought I would hear back - at least an email saying they were sorry for the bad experience, etc. NOTHING.

So not only do they have bad in-store customer service but whoever monitors their website is horrible too. So I don't care if they know I'm bashing them I hope it's a wake-up call because I will never shop at the store at SPTC again and I've made sure to tell my family about the horrible service as well.

2. Steak Restaurant Grinch

So I won't say the name of the restaurant because this didn't actual happen to me but to someone in the group I was with. He ordered a salad and had started to eat it when he found a piece of balloon in the salad. He told the waitress, who never apologized and made him pay for the second salad. WTF. I would have pitched a major fit on that one but he was too nice.

3. La De Da XYZ Company Grinch

Ok this one has to be a little more discreet.... basically I work with this company pretty regularly. They regularly cop an attitude, ignore requests, and generally pull a "I'm more intelligent and cooler than you" attitude. It's annoying and disrespectful. Yeah, ok you won't like all of our ideas but what part of we're paying you to just do the job do you not understand? And when you don't like a request - try just saying nicely why you don't think it will work.... Enough on this.

4. Department Store Grinch

I won't say who this is just because it did end up getting resolved. I ordered a tool set for K two Christmas's ago. It was on special and they had sold out. The guy in the store swore up and down they were getting a shipment the next week. Well the next week turned into December 22. I waited it out. I called constantly. I drove down there to see if it had come in. I never got a straight answer about when or where the tool kit was. December 22 came and went and no tool kit. I complained. I pitched a fit that it was a Christmas gift, that the sales associate promised it would be here. I got a few lame I'm sorry's and the guy should never have promised me... I finally got the tool kit in February! I will say they ended up giving me a huge discount on top of the sale but still....

So sorry for the long post. I'll probably come up with more experiences after I post this but I'll just add them later. Tomorrow I'll post some Santa Claus's of customer service (my little brag post to all the stores and companies I love).


  1. OMG! I cannot BELIEVE that woman at NY&Co! No way! Ridiculous!!!!

    Actually, all of these were ridiculous! I can't believe that guy was okay with paying for a second salad!! That might almost be his fault though (not sure which of your friends it was), but he should have said something, if you don't even try, you can't really complain, but still, it was ridiculous that it was on there to begin with!

  2. Haha I was so pissed about the NY and Co thing. I wanted to be like really??

    It was my sister's friend with the salad - I was like um I would never pay for that. haha