Good Customer Service
What ever happened to good customer service in America? Especially in New York and New Jersey? Do you remember when you were greeted with a nice smile and a sincere, “How can I help you?” when you walked into a grocery store? I don’t. I think it last occurred 17 years ago but I’m not sure. Over the years, probably due to poor management, cashiers have forgotten some pretty simple things to make the buying experience pleasant. Or at least, satisfactory. Or better than being attacked by a pack of hungry laughing hyenas. Maybe that is a slight exaggeration…slight.
Let’s start with paying for your groceries or snacks at the convenience store. If you are a cashier reading this, please place the coins into my hand FIRST and then slip the bills between my index finger and thumb. When you try to balance the $0.97 change on top of the 4 bills you first handed me, there is a good chance for spillage. The chances are high that I will drop the 3 quarters, 2 dimes, nickel and 2 pennies all over the counter spilling onto the floor and through the rubber mat you are standing on. Now you have a choice of bending over and picking up the loose coins or going into the cash register for more coins. But you know if you do that, your register will come up short so now you have to spend an inordinate amount of time looking for that fat nickel that is somewhere on that greasy floor. Remember, coins first, then bills. This is why I now pay for everything with a credit card.
Waiting in Line
Before the horrible task of paying for my toilet paper and coffee filters, I wait patiently on line for my turn. Sometimes, a miracle will happen and a register will open up right next to the register with the long line. That makes my day and I rush over to be the first one on line at the newly opened register. And sometimes I will be wrong and that register is not really opening at all. I imagine that cashier looking at me with a smirk and saying, “Psych!”. That would actually be kind of funny but instead that cashier will not look at me at all. She will just feel my approaching presence and snarkly yell “NO!”. For my Iowan friends, that mean’s, “I am sorry sir, this register is not opening. I am just checking on something”.
Shoppers can help too!
A side note to you shoppers. You don’t know who you are, because you are clueless but if you happen to be reading this, you can help too. It takes a while to ring up all that crap you just put on the counter. You can be using that time to either pack your bags or get your money ready to pay. I know you don’t care that I have to pee and an accident may occur at any moment but no one wants to spend all day in a grocery store.
I especially love it when I am the only one in the store and go up to the sign that reads, Wait Here for the Next Available Cashier, and the super nice cashier will loudly state, “Next in line” or just “Next!”. I always look behind me at no one and simply say “I think I’m next”, and slowly walk over to the cashier. The irony will be lost on that cashier but it makes me smile.
Good Customer Service exists!!
This is not any cashier’s fault. This is the fault of the front line manager who has failed in his/her duties to instruct their staff in the correct way to provide good customer service. An example of great customer service is when you visit the AT&T store in Manhattan and Adam (not his real name) walks you through what seems like 8 thousand options and you actually understand and have learned something that day. Now you want to go back to that AT&T store next time you need something. You might even tell someone about that experience and Adam has generated a new customer! Win Win. You received excellent customer service and AT&T received a new customer. Apple stores in New York and New Jersey provide awesome customer service as well and I sincerely enjoy shopping there even though I am not even a Mac guy! I just go into an Apple store to restore my faith in humanity. Good customer service can be achieved! A small amount of training goes a long way. I’m looking at you, front line manager.
Sincerity equals good customer service
I don’t know about you but I would prefer snarky over insincerity. No added sugar please. I’m thinking of the waiter or waitress who introduces themselves and makes a horrible attempt at letting me know a little bit about how their day is going. No one cares how your day is going. Let’s get through the specials quickly with no flowery adjectives or opinions unless I ask you. You can also wait to ask me how my food is until I have actually had the chance to put the first bite into my mouth. That would be awesome. Better yet, wait until my mouth is completely jammed with food and ask me how I’m doing. Then I can just nod and you can just walk away.
You know what would be great for cashiers in convenience stores to do to make my buying experience pleasant and to provide excellent customer service? A shower. Just take a shower once in awhile because there is nothing worse than smelling your body odor on my clothes for hours after I have been into the store where you work. I know this may be an awkward conversation for the front line manager to have with their employee, but it is a conversation that must take place. Unfortunately for me, my superpower is my sense of smell so this may be just my issue. But I doubt it.
Working in a deli
Here is a suggestion for those of you who work in a deli. Is it too much to ask for you to try to remember what I ordered and don’t make me repeat it 9 times…that would be awesome. I am not ordering like Sally in the movie, “When Harry met Sally”. Roast beef on a hard roll with mayo, salt and pepper – this is not that hard to remember, is it? “What kind of bread?” Hard roll. “What do you want on it?” Mayo. “Lettuce?” No I don’t want fucking lettuce on my roast beef sandwich! Roast beef on a hard roll with mayo, salt and pepper! What is so fucking hard about remembering that? Nothing…nothing about that is hard to remember. Sorry for cursing…I just get really angry remembering this happens to me 3 times a week.
No cashier equals good customer service?
I love the no cashier cashier where I check myself out. Woohoo! And the machine works most of the time too! The nightmare begins if the machine is not working and there is no one there to assist you. You are alone and frantically looking around to see if anyone will come to the rescue. I suggest you start waving like you are hailing a taxi or drowning. Someone should come over but if no help comes to your aid, and you have just one more thing to ring up, I have no advice whatsoever. You are on your own my friend. Just keep waving.
Side note: Telemarketers are demons, just throwing that out there.
Not when I am sick!
Let me address receptionists at doctor’s offices. Please don’t yell at me. I am sick and I have to sit next to sicker people holding my breath for 35 minutes waiting to get called into the doctor booth or cubicle and wait another 35 minutes. I get bored in there and start looking around. I open every draw, steal bandaids and cotton balls and touch all the tongue depressors…
Most car dealerships employ demons as salesmen…just saying.