Please remember, the customer is the reason for your paycheck

The Way I See It


Having been in the retail and customer service business for over 30 years, I consider myself to be a pretty good judge of those who face me from the other side of the counter when I go into a business. Maybe Friday afternoon after 3 p.m. is not the greatest time to go into a business and expect top-notch service from the employees, manager or even the owner.

Recently, Bobbye and I went into a local retailer on a given Friday, following the instructions of an on-line customer service rep. We had a piece of equipment that we were told needed to be returned and the results would have been a credit to our account. I told the customer service rep that there was a store nearby and would be happy to drop off the equipment for return. Upon arriving at the store location, we entered carrying the device with us and were approached by an attractive young lady asking if she could assist. I began to explain and she immediately informed me that this was not a corporate store and that I would have to go to Crowley or Lafayette. While we were there, we also inquired about the purchase of some new cell phones, and she asked what we were looking for. I mentioned a make and model number and she said they were no longer in production. I had just done some research on the internet and my carrier advertised that this particular phone was the latest and greatest in their line. However, this woman insisted they were not available for purchase. Having been twice affronted with a very negative attitude, we took our potential sale out the door.

A few days later, we were in Lafayette and went to a “corporate store” and though the lady there knew she had no chance of making a commissioned sale to me, spent nearly 30 minutes trying to help us get that piece of equipment returned to the proper place. Turns out that the equipment did not need to be returned and we left there with a much better frame of mind because we were treated with courtesy and kindness. They did not have the particular make and model of the phone we were interested in or that nice lady would have made a nice commission on a sale to us. A word to the wise  – the customer that calls or comes into your place of business is not an interruption of your workday. That person is the reason you have a workday and you should treat each one as if they are the very reason you dragged yourself out of bed on that day.

Whether you are serving hamburgers or selling a $50,000 automobile, the customer has the option to take their business elsewhere and your job depends on each and every customer. The food may turn out to be terrible, but if your service is genuine and friendly, chances are that I will return to give you another chance. You only get one chance to make a first impression and customers, as well as employees, managers and owners, should remember that. I really don’t care if you didn’t get enough sleep, had an argument with your spouse, roommate, or parents. I am the customer, and if I call in an order, I have every right to expect my order to be correct and complete when I arrive with my money. I could take the money elsewhere, and if enough people are dissatisfied with your service, you could soon be out of a job If you do not like your job, please, for the sake of your employer, other employees, and your customers, go find another job.

A final thought – if you are in commissioned sales or depend largely upon tips for your paycheck, you might want to remember that before you open your mouth to your customer. If you begin a conversation with negativity, don’t expect the discourse to end up positively. Remember, I am the customer, and your attentiveness, knowledge of product and courtesy will reflect in your paycheck.

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Posted by on Jun 6 2013. Filed under Editorial Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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