There was a time when customer service was part of the whole shopping experience. Not on a sunday though.
Dear Retail Workers,
Today is sunday. I have the day off but I know many of you working in retail don’t get to enjoy your sundays the way people like me do. I’m sorry for that. I hope that the penalty rates you’re currently being paid go some way to compensate for the fact that you have to spend your sunday working instead of being with your family and friends. Retail pay rates aren’t the best to begin with so I’m with you in your fight to retain your penalty rates. I’ve been on your side of the counter and know it’s tough missing out on events simply because the roster says you’re working that day. I truly understand.
I also understand that being a retail worker should be all about customer service. I’m sure your bosses drill that message into you week in, week out. Give your best service, greet each customer, smile, be pleasant, offer assistance, and so on. You’d get messages from head office stating the same, it’s probably part of your job description to ensure you’re meeting high levels of customer service. And I bet you roll your eyes each time you’re told you have to role play the various scenarios that showcase what is good and bad customer service. In fact you probably have posters on your staff room walls giving you pointers on how to provide excellent customer service. Now is more important than ever to provide excellent service – it’s what those bosses of yours will be saying…as their job may be on the line if more and more shoppers turn to the internet for their retail experience.
Earlier today, I did go shopping, I was looking for various bits and pieces for my home and I needed assistance. I visited four stores and received no assistance in any of the stores. There was plenty of you retail staff about, but you seemed to be more concerned about how much time you had left before you could go home. You were happily chatting with each other and totally ignoring me, your customer. In one store, you were vacuuming the floor and didn’t even acknowledge that I had entered the store. Retail workers, that’s really disappointing. You know that meme – you had one job – well, that was you today. Your one job is to provide customer service. If I were your boss, I would ask that you provide excellent customer service. That’s really the only advantage you bricks-and-mortar stores have over the online world – customer service. I realise this is probably your fill-in job while you wait for your career to take off, or uni to finish but if you can’t get this job right, what makes you think you’ll perform your other jobs in a positive, enriching way? Have you heard of the Fish! Philosphy? Go and check it out and apply it to your retail job, just for one shift and see the difference that it will make to not only your customers, but to you and your attitude.
I know I’m being harsh here, but it’s a tough world out there. The likes of Gerry Harvey are pressuring the government to start charging gst on online sales under $1000. It’s his way of trying to persuade the public to turn away from online shopping. By why should I abandon online shopping when I don’t receive customer service from you, the retail worker? I can tell you there’s nothing more off-putting than knowing that as a customer, I’m in the way or in today’s case, simply invisible.
It’s harsh, I’ve probably gone too far, but today your treatment of me, your customer, sucked. I had money in my wallet, I needed stuff, and you were all too busy looking at your watches, charging your phones, vacuuming and totally ignoring me. I’m sorry you had to work today, a sunday. I would love for all shops to be closed on a sunday like they were in the old days but that almighty $$ is king, so open on a sunday it is. As for the goodies I needed? Yes, thanks, I’ve found them online and they’ll be arriving within the week.
Yours in disappointment,