As a trainer who offers customer service training I am always on the look out for good customer service. Unfortunately it is not always easy to find, it is often easier to find examples of poor customer service rather than good service.
Approximately 2 years ago my wife telephoned me and asked me to go into a large department type store on my way home from work and pick up a few items for her.
I am not the greatest shopper in the world but I agreed to do this and it led to me seeing what can only be described as one of the funniest episodes of customer service I have witnessed. To be honest although I say it was funny, the reason for it being funny was that it was so bad and I could not believe it.
The department store is a shop that is renowned for excellent value for money and is the kind of place that you go in to buy 1 item and because of the value often end up buying 5 or 6 items.
Anyway the long and the short of the story is that I was standing behind a lady at the checkout who was paying for her items. When the assistant on the till was ready she literally shouted ‘next’ the lady moved forward and put her basket on the counter top. The assistant without saying another word or smiling or giving any eye contact proceeded to scan the items in the basket.
When the shop assistant had scanned the items she just stated what owed without looking at the customer and without adding any other words.
The customer then said to the shop assistant ‘a please or a thank you would be nice’ in an instance the shop assistant answered ‘it’s written on your receipt‘. To be honest I could not believe what I was hearing, the customer said nothing but looked at me and although I am no expert in body language I knew she was not happy.
I know it is wrong but I did laugh as I did think it was funny, how the shop assistant was so quick to answer like that I do not know.
The shop assistant was unbelievable, only I was there and witnessed what was said I would not believe it. The amazing thing about it is that it is often said that customers leave companies because of an indifferent attitude by a member of staff and this was definitely an indifferent attitude.
I do not know who does customer service training for this department store or indeed if they even send their staff on customer service training courses. One thing is for sure if they do spend money on training this sales assistant must have been absent that day.