By Sheila Arkee
Let’s talk turkey. Well, not really, let’s talk about customer service and our decision on where to spend our hard earned moolah.
I do a lot of my work at a Starbucks while my son is in his pre-K class. I usually visit the same location, depending on whether or not their electric outlets are being used by other wireless hobos, such as myself.
There are a few other cafes in the area, but I prefer my regular location because it’s my version of Cheers. You know, that place you go where they know your drink, have it ready for you, sneak in some extras, and greet you by name. Sometimes you really DO want to go where everybody knows your name. Their customer service is top notch and I make a point to send in good feedback to management on a regular basis.
Now, let’s contrast this with an experience I had at a big-name cosmetics store a couple of weeks ago. I’m browsing around the store one afternoon, minding my business, playing with samples, bopping my head to old school Whitney Houston. I miss old school Whitney Houston. A sales associate comes up to me and asks me if I know about their brow services.
“Why no,” I reply, “But that sounds awesome.”
Sales Associate: “You have some great brows but they need to be arched. Here’s a brochure with our prices, I can fit you in now!”
My internal monologue: “But I’m going for the hairy caterpillar look because I like it.”
Me: “Well, I don’t really have time. I’m really busy for the next two weeks or so.”
Sales Associate: “Okay, well let’s book a spot for two weeks from now.”
Me (trying to get out of the conversation): “I mean, I’m really busy, it’s going to be more like three weeks.Let me call you.”
Sales Associate: “Okay, let’s book a spot for three weeks from now.”
Oh, goodness. I eventually released myself from the grasps of the over-agressive sales associate, but I spent the rest of my visit to the store avoiding her section of the store lest I be pulled in to the death throes of her appointment book.
As a former sales associate myself, I get where she’s coming from. People have quotas to meet and goals to fulfill. However, that wasn’t the way to get my name in her appointment book. Like, ever.
So, for today’s topic of conversation, let’s discuss your best and worst customer service experiences. What works and doesn’t work for you?