You might be asking, “What the heck is this?” For those who would like a definition, or may have simply forgotten because it’s so rare these days, this blog is for you.
“Customer service” means that the customer is always right. This does not mean that all unreasonable demands are met, but that, if there is no real reason not to acquiesce, the customer wins the argument.
For example, if store “policy” is to do exchanges only, no refunds, will it really harm anything if a $5 charge is returned to a customer? Of course not. Most likely, the customer will return and spend far more than that.
Is it really necessary to obtain a customer’s phone number, address, ID number, and so forth to process a return or exchange? Again, no.
Oh, corporations and even mom-and-pop places will give you some marlarkey-filled explanation, but what it boils down to is that these things interfere with the bookkeeping. And someone has to fix that. And most people are too darn lazy to go out of their way.
Here’s another issue: the telephone. If the phone is ringing, answer the darn thing! If you’re busy with another customer, pause, answer, ask the caller if they mind holding – and wait for an answer.
Who should receive the clerk’s attention, a caller, or an individual who has taken the time to personally come in to the business, checkbook in hand?
This seems like a no-brainer, but what inspired my blog today was the service received at an auto repair shop:
I walked in the door at 11:10, checkbook in hand. An invisible employee was on the phone, another walked in and out, and a third was in the first office also talking on the phone. Something about JimBob driving into a ditch last week; sounded personal to me, as the employee went on and on about JimBob’s family, friends, and the state of his health.
Finally the JimBob-guy said: “Be with you in a minute!” Then the phone started ringing. He took the call, and tried to play 20 Questions with the individual on the other end of the line.
The time was now 11:20. I was still waiting, with my checkbook, to write a check for a rather large amount. The guy finally came out to the desk and ran my ticket, collected my money, and I was on my way.
Oh, and he hummed. The whole time. Just mindless humming. In between answering a couple questions about my service. The transaction only took about five minutes, but it cost me twenty minutes because Leroy here thought that his time was more important than mine.
Ever try to keep from becoming deathly bored at an auto repair place? There is NOTHING to read, nothing to look at, and nothing you’d want to sit down it (let alone touch).
And this place has been in business for years and years. Amazing. Perhaps they, too, have forgotten customer service.