Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Friendly Reminder?

During a holiday-related trip to a local shopping center I was provided with the topic of this blog - customer service.

While at the register at a major retailer, I noticed that the monitor prompted the cashier with questions and comments to make to me and other shoppers. Can I help you? When I responded that I'd like to just pay for the purchase again a prompt - Can I put that on your xxxx card? The prompts continued with each being read by the cashier. Except the final prompt.

What was that last prompt? What was the cashier to say at the completion of the transaction and just before I left the store?

Thank you for shopping at.......

But the cashier never said anything. I was given my change, my receipt and sent on my way.

I was not upset. I was surprised though that this prompt - perhaps the most important of all the prompts - was the one the cashier chose not to read.

Has customer service declined to the point that one has to be reminded to communicate with the customer?
Are we guilty just as this cashier was of taking our customers for granted?

I certainly hope not.

Here's my reminder: Even if one fails at everything else, one should never fail in customer service. It goes without saying that customers are our lifeblood and should therefore never be taken for granted.

Maybe that should be the first prompt - for all of us.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been abroad for the past couple years, and finally made it back to my home state of California last month, for some vacation.

I was blown away by the horrific customer service. Rude, disrespectful, indifferent. My god, was it always this bad?

And then I had a thought that brought a huge smile to my face: "This is a massive opportunity for the rest of us".

If this is the way our customers are used to being treated, they'll remember us forever if all we do is treat them with some basic human respect and decency.

4:10 AM

Blogger Jen said...

Went to a discount retailer today....and as i saw the "thank you for shopping at..." prompt on the screen, I thought about this post. I waited to hear the prompt said to me by the cashier. She hit the enter key to remove the prompt from the screen, gave me my receipt, and never repeated what was instructed on the prompt. Didn't even say any version of thank you. After I told her, "Have a nice day.", she repeated that back to me.

It is confusing to me why customer service has lost priority. Some places really have it down to a T, others are lacking. There are even stores/restaurants that I refuse to visit because my experience with their service was horrible.

Now, with all of the "complaining" out of the way, I would like to commend the staff of Charlotte Russe, a clothing retailer in the local mall. Their staff is very helpful, courteous, and knowledgable and they provide excellent customer service. They always offer to help, but they have worked out the frequency/timing of it so that your shopping experience isn't interrupted every 2 minutes.

KUDOS to the CHARLOTTE RUSSE staff at the CTC Mall.

12:37 PM

Anonymous PRMama said...

My husband and I have both noticed the lack of "thank you" at the end of many transactions. It's really just totally unacceptable.

It's one of those times where we think, "Oh now I know what NOT to do!"

I hope the managers of these stores/companies will work on training their employees about their role in promoting the company image and hospitality!

Good post!

3:37 PM


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