Good customer service vs. bad customer service
I’ve had bad customer service at almost every store I’ve shopped the past few years (not just talking about groceries–EVERY store); I’ve been refused the use of coupons even with a coupon policy in hand at many stores. I’ve had rude cashiers and managers. That includes my favorite and least favorite stores.
I decided a while ago that I couldn’t stop shopping at every store where I had repeatedly bad customer service. I quite literally was running out of places to shop! However, it will keep a customer like me from using their store more often.
What are some aspects of bad customer service (and your list may be different than mine)?
- Complaining about internet coupons because they may or may not scan (I see this a LOT at Copps, where they are very well trained about coupon acceptance, but some are not very well-trained about grumbling about it!)
- Acting like the acceptance of coupons means money is coming out of their paycheck
- Acting like a gun is to their head when they are checking you out because they’d rather be out with their friends (read: teenagers)
- Having a conversation/flirting with the bagger with no acknowledgement of the customer
- It works both ways, too– get off your phone and recognize the person behind the register!
How do you define good customer service? Here’s what I look for:
- Making eye contact with the customer, even if it’s only for a second
- Maintaining a positive attitude
- Willingness to help when asked
- Conversation is not necessary, but keeping it light and pleasant when a toddler is having a meltdown is a plus
- Accepting coupons with little or no fanfare.
From personal experience, I’ve found Festival Foods has some ofthe best-trained workers. In the past ten years, I don’t ever recall going through a checkout lane and seeing a grumpy cashier, or seeing a stock boy on the floor unwilling to help. (In fact, the stocker often ask if you need anything before you can ask them!) I’ve also always had good service at Piggly Wiggly, too. They really do have that Mom and Pop feel (Most of the 120 Piggly Wiggly stores throughout the Midwest are independently owned and operated.)
There are some stores where I rarely get good customer service but I have just come to expect that. I go in, I get what I need, I leave. If it’s going to be a complicated transaction, I won’t go to those stores.
You all know how much I love Target? Despite that fact, I can be honest and say I’ve had some horrific customer service problems. Most are in the distant past, and most at only one of the two Green Bay locations. Since I’m there all the time (or so it seems), the ratio is pretty small but thought I should mention it. Target is not infallible in my book. And I think I know the reason why.
I think the difference between good customer service and bad customer service often comes down to managers — good ones and bad ones. I’ve found that the best customer service usually comes from the stores where the managers actually care about what they are doing. They do a good job of instilling that in those they supervise, too.
With all those thoughts aside, no matter how good the customer service is at any given store, I won’t shop there if prices aren’t competitive with other stores. On the off chance I have to go to a store and it isn’t because of sale, guess which store I’m going to choose? The one with good customer service. They’ve earned my business.
The one thing I’ve learned is to constantly provide feedback to stores, whether it’s an email or a phone call (although I do like the email option better because there’s a written record.) Just like customer service, tell them about not only your bad but your good experiences, too.
Do you ever tell a store when they’re doing a good job? Or do you only contact them when you have a problem?