Research shows that 8 out of 10 Americans prefer to shop online rather than visit a store in person! After last week-end, I can certainly understand why!
I admit I do a lot of my shopping online; but for some things I just feel the need to see and touch before I make the purchase! My husband has always loved a road trip out of the office when we get the chance, so he was willing to make a 30 minute drive to one of the largest malls in our area! He is a rare breed that likes to see new things and doesn’t mind me looking and being very selective before I make a purchase.
I knew what stores I wanted to visit, so we checked the directory and made sure they were still in the same place; and armed with our list, budget and game plan we began the journey. Carmen had also planned to take me to lunch, so he checked to make sure he had their latest app special on his phone, as this was going to be a rare treat for us!
As we entered the first store, (one of my favorites), I looked to my left and saw a person leaning on the counter at the cash register with his iPhone texting: he didn’t even acknowledge we had entered his space! I said hi and realized he did not plan on responding and walked on to look for the items I was interested in. Now I am not judging, but when I saw the merchandise displayed in such an awful state, I thought maybe we had just missed the sale of the century!
Needless to say I did not find what I was looking for. My husband suggested we ask, and I looked at him and back to the person still texting at the counter, and decided that probably would not gain us any traction in our search, so I proceeded to depart without interrupting the only other person in the store- the one assigned the job that day to serve me. Again we passed right by and not one word was said, nor did the texting miss a beat!
The next store was a little better! The lady was still at the counter by the cash register but she did greet us and said, “let me know if there is anything I can help you with” and then immediately answered the cell phone in her hand and turned away and started her conversation!
I did find something I needed and wanted at this store, and it was on sale! We both were happy and ready to check out and be on our way! We went back to the same counter, and the lady had a line! Why? She was involved on a call on her cell phone. Others got disrespectful and she got off the phone and handled them just enough to get them on their way without even a thank you. When it was our turn I asked her what her “dream job” would be? She looked at me as the phone started ringing, and replied: “I don’t plan on working, I’m marrying rich!” I wished her well and went on my way thinking: “am I expecting too much of people here?”
Sound like I am making this up? I can assure you it even got worse as we continued our quest! I am glad that the gift of being positive is one of my strengths, so that I could laugh at what we were experiencing and not let anything or anyone spoil our time off together!
Not all was lost as we did manage to find some wonderful items, and also eventually excellent examples of caring and hard working people that restored my faith that customer service is not totally a lost art! One was at a large well known store and when I looked at her name tag I noticed she was the store manager. She was on the floor herself doing a great job of helping her customers. When we went to checkout with her I asked, “why are you working the register today?” She replied with a smile, “it happens when people scheduled to work aren’t able to come in, and I can’t find replacements.” Sounded like this happens a lot, and I thanked her for the great service, and immediately tweeted it to her company!
Having lunch was our last stop, and it was a wonderful experience. We sat there and discussed how happy we are to have a company where the talent we represent love people, and will do whatever it takes so that their audiences and our clients who hire them receive a “WOW” factor experience.
It brought to mind one of our speakers, Dean Lindsay, who is known as the “Dean of Sales and Service.” He recently received an endorsement from
his client on this very topic. This is what they had to say: “we hired Dean to speak to our group about great customer service, but he did more…he SHOWED us exceptional service. Dean spent countless hours understanding our business, our customers and our service mantra. He quickly became a part of our team and was able to communicate our vision to employees around the world. Our company hired a keynote speaker but got a life-long business partner and resource for our team.”
The good news is: help is available for companies and employees that see the need to want to change and give “exceptional” service to their customers! Those are the clients of my company, because I have the talent and the solutions that can make a difference for them for a lifetime!
Now off to do the work I love; finding clients for the speakers I represent that see the value and urgent need to take action, and are willing to hire the best to help them!