More on Dry Cleaners, Poor Customer Service and Bad Attitudes
This is from a local marketing genius who works for a non-profit organization in Charleston, West Virginia. She's a real pro ... experienced and savvy. She gets it. If she sees this post and chooses to identify herself that's great. We'll leave it up to her.
Recently, I have experienced a definite "the customer is always wrong" attitude ... it is day and night between businesses where people really hustle for business. In places like Chicago, there is a lot of competition and a lot of opportunity, and client service is strongly ingrained in the population. In other places, folks sometimes behave like they are in a socialist country, where there isn't any incentive to work hard because the rewards are limited. Such attitude can really hold a place back from progress and growth.
Maybe it's the lack of competition or workforce challenges, but "my give a damn's busted" is definitely the approach of many business owners and workers alike. My husband and I have experienced this with lawyers and other professionals, down to cashiers and waiters.
Here's some recent examples:
Yesterday I went to Petsmart to get some stuff for my cat. One of my items rang up $2 more than the price on the display sign. When I pointed this out to the cashier, she got huffy, accused me of switching prices and then reluctantly said, "OK, I guess I'll refund your $2." I thought this could be a "teachable moment" for the manager, so I very politely relayed my experience and pointed out that they weren't doing me any favors, because the law requires customers to be charged the correct price. She didn't get it either and got very defensive.
My husband took a very expensive pair of pants to the drycleaners. He had just got them from Kelley's and they had been worn once. When he picked them up, he took them out of the bag and noticed that the cuffs were basically shredded at the bottom and the pockets were mangled. The owner of the shop was outraged that he had the temerity to inspect them in the shop and screamed "We do excellent work" and blamed Kelley's, saying they sell crappy merchandise. When my husband said he would be happy with just a refund of the cleaning costs, the lady threatened to call the police.
I'm loathe to pick on my new hometown, and I've certainly had customer service problems in Chicago, but I hate for this region to be held back due to this defensive attitude.
Just blowing off steam.....
Okay, marketing geniuses, what do you think? Have you had similar experiences? What is that difference-maker "ingredient?"