Customer care? (Janice Pottinger)
I have found myself with a fair bit of birse up today due the lack of manners and general customer care in one of Shetland’s “super”markets. I do not put much trade their way, generally speaking, due to past experiences. I prefer to shop in the other supermarket whenever possible, mainly due to fantastic parent and child parking (as long as nobody who is child-less parks in them!), the superb customer relations and double trolleys available for small children.
I waited patiently with a smile on my face for the only two check-out assistants to acknowledge my presence and give me a sign as to which of them would like to serve me (a sign which I am still waiting for). I placed my few items to check out, as they continued to discuss how early they had to get out of bed to destroy yesterday’s daily papers – this discussion continued as I left the store. I was not offered a “hello”, or a smile, not even a “£5.97”, and needless to say, no “please”. The only word she uttered to me in a disgruntled tone was “clubcard?”(I almost laughed!). No mention of “thank you”, although that did not surprise me!
I am sure that not all staff at this store are grumpy, ill-mannered and downright rude. As a matter of fact, a nice young girl smiled at me as I walked past her with my five items clutched in my arms (as I could not find a basket when I came in the door). I would like to suggest that these nice staff be utilised in a more constructive way and put to operate the checkout desks, where a bit of friendly banter makes all the difference to a customer’s shopping experience. In my mind that is what every shop, from the good old corner-shop to Harrods, should offer: a “shopping experience”. Where a customer is offered a smile and a polite word of thank you to the person who ultimately is helping put money in their wage packet at the end of the day (no customer = no trade = no job).
The last time this happened, I called the manager of the store to advise him of the manner that customers were being treated (as I was sure he could not be aware of their ignorance), I was told it was “just their manner”. On this occasion I do not see the point in offering any constructive criticism to management as it doesn’t seem to make a blind bit of difference … I am sure many others have had similar experiences.
Mental note to shop on the other side of town at all costs – which incidentally are lower!