I’ve spent my working life in the service industry and nothing gets me going quite like poor service. I expect to be greeted when I walk into an establishment, be it retail or a restaurant. I then expect employees who like their jobs to be working with me. If they don’t like their jobs, it’s ok, just be good at faking it. I then expect the employee to have knowledge about the merchandise or menu. When I am done with my visit, I expect to be thanked. My expectations are high, but not unrealistically so. But, often I am disappointed. How do I handle this? By leaving a smaller tip than I normally would, and by not going to that retailer again if I can avoid it. When I do have my expectations met, I say so, and I thank the server or store personnel. If they have a survey on my experience, I fill it out. I get names and let the manager know. OK, I admit, I don’t go to the manager often. I only do that for long-term relationships or outstanding service. I don’t always get to save money because I pay extra for good service. It’s important to me.
Being in the service industry, I really try to give good service. It’s a source of pride for me. I believe in doing my job well, and I like to make people happy. It makes work more fun, and it gives meaning to the mundane. I have the power to make someone’s day better. I can make more money for my employer, making me more valuable as an employee which is important in this job market. Despite my efforts though, some people will not be won over. They are hell-bent on being grumpy, or rude, or ignorant. It used to really bother me when that happened, but now, not so much. I realize it’s not me, it’s them. I just look ahead to the next customer and when this grump comes back, and they do, I try again to win them over. It’s a personal challenge to me. Once, I had a customer say to me “All the hotels in Boston could burn to the ground and I wouldn’t book with you!” I had her business within two weeks. I like to win challenges. Like I said, it makes my job fun.
What always takes me back is when people don’t trust me. I am there to help, to serve. I possess knowledge that will help the customer, but the customer doesn’t use me to their benefit. They try to handle things themselves, not having the right information and they waste so much time, and in some cases waste their money because they don’t get the best value. That is something I would steer them to if given the chance. They rely on their smart phones and their limited knowledge, reading online reviews that may or may not be legitimate.
What is my point? The salesperson needs to be tested and then determine whether they should be excluded from the decision-making process. Not all sales people are vacuous and just biding time in their jobs. Not all salespeople are sharks selling snake oil. Let the legitimate salesperson help you. They should know more about what you are buying than you do. They hear from their customers what works and doesn’t work. They know their merchandise, what is good about it and what it’s faults are and how to compensate for those deficiencies. A good salesperson’s services are something you are purchasing along with your service or merchandise or dinner. Test them first before you dismiss them or ignore them altogether. Give the salesperson the chance to give you good service.
I watch customers waste time, waste money, waste effort by not employing my skill. It frustrates me that so much waste is occurring, when it could be remedied so easily when the question “How may I help you?” is spoken. With each customer, I hope to be used and challenged. More often than not, proverbial money is left on the table by the customer not using me as their source of knowledge.
So when you are shopping for goods, services or meals, use your salesperson. Give them a chance to wow you and help you get the most for your money and time. Then, tell their management about your good service experience. If you don’t have a good salesperson, answer that by
a. Seeking out another potentially more versed salesperson, not letting one person speak for the entire establishment,
b. If that doesn’t work, boycott the establishment by going elsewhere.
c. If neither of those suggestions works, then you have my permission to handle things on your own, and use your smart phone.
Where do you receive good service? Do you have any examples of good service you received?