Friday, 19 March 2010

Where is Customer Service?

So there I was, standing in a queue waiting to be served, eyeing up the cupcakes and crispies, when the man with the pram kindly moved aside so that I could reach for a chicken sandwich for the Farmer.  I thanked kind-daddy only to be faced with disappointment when I realised there were no chicken sarnies in sight.  "Oh well," I thought, "I'll just have to ask them to make me one up."  Two stressed out assistants ran back and forth, snapping at customers, "is there anything else?" and "can I help anyone?" when eventually it was my turn.

Seemingly-nice-lady asked me, "can I help you?"  "yes please," I answered, noticing kind daddy having already been served by seemingly-not-so-nice lady.  "Could you make me a chicken sandwich up please, there doesn't appear to be any on the shelf."  It wasn't a question.  It was a request.  I was the customer.

Not-so-nice-lady, who incidentally was serving someone else, looked at me and snapped, "that's because we're busy."  "Excuse me?" I replied.  She did not answer.  I don't like confrontation.  Never have.  I can't handle it.  And when one is faced with a rude shop assistant in the middle of a packed bakery, one turned around to face the other customers who were quite happily minding their own business, looking everywhere apart from at me.  Is it the customer's fault that the shop was short-staffed?  Is it the customer's fault that the rude and discourteous shop assistant might have been having a bad day?  Is it the customer's fault that there were no chicken sandwiches left?  Well bugger me, I forgot to ask for my chocolate crispie after all.

56 comments:

  1. Ive been treated poorly by customers and Ive been treated poorly by staff, neither feels very good. Even if someone is having a bad day there is no excuse to be rude to someone else. All she had to say was 'sorry, we dont have any today'. Easy! Its so much more effort to be rude and adds negativity to the universe. How bleh for you to have to deal with it. x

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  2. Excuse me, but isn't the whole idea of opening a shop to BE busy! That means money and should not be an excuse for poor service. Would she rather you be the only one in the bakery and lots of time to make you a chicken sandwich? She needs to be in a different line of work..not with the public. Did the farmer ever get a sandwich??

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  3. It's not what you need is it!! Civility costs nothing!!

    C x

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  4. I try asking, "Are you always this rude, or are you just having a bad day?" The response is either a) even ruder (suggesting that rudeness is a habit), or b) an apology (confirming a bad day).

    Either way I feel I've got my message across without being rude myself. I'm not telling them they're rude (i.e. there's no opinion to be disagreed with), I'm asking them, and letting them make their own minds up about their behaviour. It's a bit cheeky, perhaps, but I'm a firm believer in good manners!

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  5. Service like this really gets my back up, I have never spoken to a customer like that - even the ones who deserved it!!! So glad I'm not going back into retail!!

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  6. boggles the mind. i wonder what those shop 'assistants' would be doing if there weren't any of you 'annoying customers' around...

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  7. It's a far cry from the days of "the customer is always right". I wonder what her reaction would have been if you had been as rude to her.

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  8. I am of the opinion that there are many places to take my business to. I never go back to a place where the sales people are rude. Till this day I don't buy gas for my car from Exxon due to the spill in Alaska. i believe in supporting companies, stores and organizations that are good for me and good for the world in general.

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  9. I had an experience like this recently. I felt I was being courteous and patient and was treated like some kind of clueless clod. Fortunately my day was good otherwise. Had I been in a bad mood to begin with, that would have ruined my day.

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  10. I'd complain to the manager- I worked in Retail Management before the kids, and that sales person would have been sacked if I was her boss. You never ever take out busyness on the customers, as a busy shop means you have a job in the first place, and the customer pays your wages! So would send a letter to the boss. You shouldn't ever feel uncomfortable in a shop.

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  11. It wouldn't have taken her much effort to smile politely and say she was unable or to just get on with it.

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  12. Did you walk out shouting ' stuff your bloody sarnies' - that's what the old cow needed.

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  13. Oh I hope the Daddy with the pram had more luck with the less nice assistant.

    I have to say though, a couple of years of Bosnian customer service makes the British look positively American by comparison!

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  14. I'm increasingly voting with my feet - if a shop can't be polite I don't go back

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  15. Shocking! In this day and age, and in this climate you'd think they'd be falling over themselves to be polite wouldn't you!?

    You'll have to tell me which bakery it was and the next time I'm in there I'll sort 'em out... actually, I'd probably just tut and walk on by because, very much like you, I don't like confrontation either!

    x

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  16. I often find being sickly sweet back shames people sometimes. It is unacceptble and being nice costs nothing

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  17. That shop isn't going to be very busy for long with that kind of attitude from the staff!! Defies common sense really. I also dislike when people share their bad humour, gggrrr. Jen.

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  18. It's horrible when that happens.
    Spoils the day.

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  19. i absolutely hate bad customer service, how rude of her to say that to you!! Next time you should tell her that you will take your custom elsewhere (but i bet she wouldn't care)

    I work in a customer facing job and I always make sure i talk to people with respect no matter how busy i am. I alway treat my customers how i want to be treated myself.

    Although this doesn't stop them being rude to me but not everyone is nice. I hope you get better service next time and if you ever came to where i work i would treat you very nicely mwa xxxxxx

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  20. I dont know whats wrong with people these days but the customer is always right attitude has gone down the toliet, grr, thanks for posting this :)

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  21. How Rude!

    I don't like confrontation so I would usually just walk away but I have sent e mails to companies to let them know of the poor service that I have received.

    On the other side of things, I always compliment excellent customer service as I think that good customer service doesn't get recognised enough.

    Sorry about your crispie cake lol

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  22. I think it's really important to encourage good customer service and try to get rid of the bad. It always seems to happen to me. Maybe my standards are too high, I don't know. But when we're spending hard earned cash in these shops we should only expect courtesy in my opinion.

    Thank you for your comments, CJ xx

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  23. Ooohhh I hate bad customer service but it seems quite rife in the UK these days!

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  24. Gosh, I can't stand bad service. I would have thought they'd be happy to be busy ... especially in this economy. I try and teach my boys that being polite is free and it is how you will forever be remembered.

    You never said, did you get your sandwich?

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  25. That's terrible. I would be so upset I don't think I could go in there again after that. :0(
    And did you get a sandwich in the end?

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  26. Me laughing...picturing you there.
    I have been there as well. Crazy right? I just shake my head and walk away...there is nothing that can be done.
    So, did you get the chicken sandwich? I hope the farmer did not miss his lunch today.
    Suz

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  27. Hello

    Happy Friday Follow!! Im a new follower!

    Mavericks Mommy

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  28. Oh don't get me started on customer service! I worked in a shop where "exceptional customer service" was the motto, and I LOVED it!
    But it has made me fussy as a customer, and the service here can be appalling.
    Why do staff find it so difficult to say sorry? It's just one word, but it makes such a difference.
    I find myself constantly battling with this, sometimes pointing it out, sometimes biting my tongue (in spite of what my kids think, I dislike confrontation too!).
    And I'm sick of saying that businesses that want to survive the recession HAVE to focus on customer service!
    Now that I've almost written a blog post, hope you've a nice weekend, CJ!

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  29. Geeze that is so rude! I hate when people are like that, they should be grateful to have a job and being busy is a sign of job security!

    Thanks for letting me know you stopped by my blog!

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  30. there's a lot of that around nowadays which is very sad. Lessons in manners needed thnk.

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  31. I did get the sandwich! But called in to another shop to buy a drink and a pudding (which consisted of a creme egg). The Farmer was very grateful!!

    Thank you for your comments, and for the new followers.

    CJ xx

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  32. I hate poor service, and I always make a point of complaining if it's been particularly shoddy. My daughters are used to it now, but they roll their eyes when they realise I'm going to do it.

    And you're right, face like a slapped arse is right. :-)

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  33. Right it's time to name and shame. What is the name and where is this shop? I may take a little wander over there.......

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  34. Donna - Couldn't possibly!! Do you want me to end up in court??!!

    Thank you for your comments, CJ xx

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  35. Bad customer service...it's shocking. And I detest rudeness. I hate confrontation as well and try to avoid it. When faced with it, my stomach starts churning and I feel positively ill.

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  36. Absolutely no excuse for a shop assistance to take it out on a customer. I think I would have given as good as I got, but politely.

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  37. OhGoodLord! I think I let management know that would be the end of seeing me there...And you know the Crazy part of that? The OTHER customers probably felt the same and just needed a "leader" to get it fixed!Haha
    There's NO excuse for being rude to a paying customer!! EVER! We're in business and if we ran Ours that way, we'd have NO customers!
    hughugs

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  38. IN FACT!!!LOLOLHAhaaa...you got me Started!!
    You Should have said, LOUDLY to her..."I don't see any PMS on the menu!!!"
    GEEZ!!!

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  39. Well, I hope they were too busy to ask you to pay, then?

    Busy is no excuse for rude.

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  40. Aren't we famed for having the rudest customer service in Europe?
    The ManChild had a Rude Encounter at the gym today - he had the audacity to sit on a sofa in the lobby area where he was waiting for us. A grouchy manager told him to 'stop slouching in the private members area' to which he replied 'but I am a member'. Bizarrely ejected from the comfy seats to the plastic ones a few feet away. Clearly she could spot a pleb a mile off. So that's what they do on those management courses. xx

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  41. Manicmum - OMG, that's appalling!I think I would definitely have been tempted to say something.

    Thank you for your comments, CJ xx

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  42. Just catching up with all my blogs. My, you have been busy! Soy to hear about your nose. Hope it heals soon.

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  43. O You had a bad day! I sometimes get very irritated by staff too. In such cases, as for department stores and large supermarkets, I talk to their managers later about the problems I had, hoping that they would have better customer service. I must be an annoying customer for them!

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  44. I find it's usually pointless trying to respond at most shops here in SA. Any response goes "Swiss Air". . . . straight over their head!

    They never think they're wrong.

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  45. have you seen 5 easy pieces with Jack Nicholson? There's a very funny scene about a chicken sandwich. He wins the stand off. I would have been quite rude to that woman. You're a better person than I am!

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  46. Following you from the Friday Follow!

    http://stacievaughansblog.blogspot.com/

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  47. Unbelievable! I don't know what I would have done - I'm like you, I cannot bear confrontation; I normally either slink off and seethe or over-react completely.

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  48. She must have been on a French customer relations training course...

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  49. Oh CJ wish I'd been there with you. I'm THAT woman who says out loud what everyone else is thinking when confronted with f@@@wits like this. Loudly reminding people of their manners makes me happy when I have to deal with someone without any.

    Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

    MD xx

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  50. I always utter the words "Service with a smile!" sarcastically as the miserable checkout operator hands me my change. I HATE bad customer service, and I abhor misplaced fawning by customer services operatives also - by that I mean the different levels of service I get from the same assistant at different times i.e; Bad service when I'm in my scruffs, but over the top "Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir" service when I'm in my suit. They've obviously judged me a low spending peasant in the former, and a potential high spender when I'm suited and booted! Sickening!
    Gary

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  51. Thank you for your comments, CJ xx

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  52. I am sorry your didn't get your chocolate crispie. I am sure you really needed it after that experience.

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  53. I work in customer service, we all have days when you would rather pull the blanket up over your face, and not have to go the extra mile, but it's required....at all times.
    I deal with rude people everyday, I try to outwit them, or kill them with kindness, otherwise I fear I would swear at them like a sailor on shore leave.
    I try to treat people as I would like to be treated...with courtesy and respect at all times.

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  54. I agree with Ro - I never go back to where I've received bad service. Like the newsagents in Petersfield from about 7 years ago, and a restaurant that no longer exists also in Petersfield and now the M&S in Petersfield due to their excessive parking fees. I work in Petersfield and am usually not in the mood to receive rude customer service. I take a grudge to the grave! (ps CJ I never wrote back when you said about murder mysteries on my bmb page - I like Wallander at the moment!) - HM

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