Where has the customer service gone?

Published 12:09 am Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Well, it’s been over two years since I discussed customer service but after this weekend I feel like the subject needs revisiting. It appears some store owners/managers really don’t care whether or not they stay in business by the way the customers that come into their stores are treated.

It appears to me that all they want to do is complain about how hard it is to make a living in Natchez. The truth is that most Natchezians would rather do business at home but when mistreated and/or ignored will drive elsewhere to shop or shop online. And, Mr./Ms. Retailor, they have long memories.

As I mentioned, this past Saturday, I stopped by one store and picked up a few items and went to the check-out counter. The clerk stood there with her back to me looking off into the store and completely ignored my existence. After a few minutes I asked if she would check me out. She turned around and said that her register was tied up waiting on a stock number from another employee — company work. All she would have had to do was say that when I walked up, and I would have waited but she chose to completely ignore me.

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Next I went to a nationwide chain store to buy a large appliance in the $600-$700 range. I knew what I wanted, the color and brand and didn’t mind waiting for it to be ordered and picked up at a later date. As I was trying to finalize the purchase, the sales person’s cell phone rang and he proceeded to answer the call and talk to the caller while I waited.

This was a personal call but even if it was a business call, the sales person should have put the caller on hold and completed the sale.

In my opinion, personal cell phones should be turned off or calls sent to the answering service while in the work place, churches, meetings, restaurants, schools or any other public gathering unless you are a physician or critical care giver. They can also be set to vibrate and checked at a later time. You can return the calls later.

Sunday, my new preacher talked about patience or in my case the lack thereof.

I guess he already knows me better than I thought.