I sometimes feel that I want to give up on this whole customer service thing. Am I the only person who just wants someone, anyone, to talk to me when I enter the store? And I am not talking about the swooping seagull (“can I help you”) approach. I don’t know about you, but that is the phrase that I most hate as a customer.
Recently I was looking for an evening dress to wear to a function where retailers and businesses were rewarded for excellent customer service. I was the ‘judge’ who had to evaluate customer’s service levels.
I have to confess I generally hate shopping, and waited until the last moment to get a dress. I started with a positive attitude thinking that I would magically find the dress, with some help, and within the first hour of shopping. Not to be.
I entered the first store through the Gen X section. Do they care about you? Nope. Do they talk to you? Nope. They stared at me as if I do not belong there. Their body language shouted “get out of my area”. Whilst I mightn’t be the target customer, there is just the remotest possibility that I was shopping for someone else…
Eventually I found the right section, no one within a kilometre to assist me. I looked lost, I looked upset, and around me were at least half a dozen customers also looking lost and needing assistance. In that time 4 ladies walked away me included. Well actually at least $1000 walked away. The store could have paid their rent and some staff for that department.
I could not find anything and thought let net give the other stores a go. I visited at least 20 stores. My goal to find a dress within an hour turned out to be a mission to find a sales person to assist me to find the dress, and the actual dress became a secondary concern. What a miserable day only 2 staff members approached me, albeit with the dreaded “can I help you”. Three hours later, no dress, grumpy and with sore feet I bumped into two of the girls whom I had previously encountered in the first store, still with the same lost expression on their face and still without dress.
At lunch on Saturday before the function I told my story to a few girls and to my surprise (I am a little worried that I am a difficult customers and expect too much of people) all the girls agreed that ALL they require is for someone to care, someone who takes some time out to assist them, someone to asks how their week has been.
EVERYONE agreed they sometimes will spend their money, me included, even if it is not always the perfect dress, shoes or handbag, but it is something that has been sold with care and a little love.