Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We Do Not Live in a Post-Customer-Service Society

Yes, it is hard to believe. But America is not a post-customer-service society. Unless I've missed a major 'changing of the era's.'

I've seen evidence lately that some have jumped on the PCSS bandwagon (Post Customer Service Society). And it really is one of my pet peeves. After all, I have some hard earned (and yes, hard earned is what teachers, mothers, wives, husbands, preachers, police officers, fire fighters, checkers, bankers, children, parents, and all other workers with jobs have - hard earned money) cash burning a hole, albeit small, in my wallet. I would like to spend it in your establishment. Or I need to spend it at your place of business. Yes. The one where it is obvious that your employees have joined PCSS. In fact, I need to tip you off that several are dues paying members. Maybe even charter members.

You. Yes you. The one who ignores me when I walk in and wander around, glaringly obvious as I search for SOMETHING. But you continue with your team conversations and/or gossip sessions. If I do get totally frustrated and approach you for help, do you realize I have counted how many employees have studiously avoided eye contact with me? I did notice the one who turned the opposite direction and waltzed off to perform some invisible task. I do see you working on the computer (or playing a game?) with your partner. So sorry to interrupt your free time with my questions.

NO. PLEASE. Don't worry. Don't bother with showing me or even kindly giving me directions to locate what I am after. For sure, I like it best when you are curt and irritated with my question. Because you know, I don't work there. How can I know the specific aisle and shelf for each thing. Perhaps the best approach for you would be to have your back to me so giving assistance would be more challenging. Presenting an intimidating back, or scowling front, would really keep those pesky customers from sneaking in and spending money.

Not just stores. But other fine places of business. A recent personal favorite was the phone game. Please listen closely as our menu options have recently changed. (Just a tip. I've called before. They are the same options. It is still annoying to have to listen to them all. Especially if I do not have a specific person in mind with whom I want to speak. Nor do I have their extension number.)

Push number 1. Choice number 4. Zero. Zero. Zero. Operator please! Please give me a person. Not a computer. Then, despite pre-recorded messages warning of the phone call being monitored for quality control, the harried, cranky person answers. Puh-lease.

This is America. There are other choices. As a consumer, if I am bothering you or am not valuable enough to warrant courteousness or manners or help or a smile (for Pete's sake, whoever Pete is) or a thank you for coming...I will go somewhere else. Somewhere that is oozing over with customer service ambiance. Not necessarily expensive or high class, but places that cater to the customer. Places that want to stay in business and earn loyalty and return trips by pleased customers.

Oh, yes. That is me. The customer. I have had GREAT service in many places. I return regularly to those places. And I offer you a heart felt round of applause and cheers of joy. But you know what they say. It takes one bad experience...

Buck up, America. Down with PCSS! Bring those positive customer service attitudes and habits back into our society. Want to stimulate the economy? HELP the customer - whatever type of customer you happen to have.

I know we can do it.

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