Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How May I Help You?

Good customer service vs. bad customer service.  I have learned that, if you let it, it can totally make or break your night.  

I was in good company tonight...actually GREAT company.  A new friendship that has been a complete blessing in my life.  Anywho, we were hanging out with Bexley in tow (the sweetest tow you could have!) and came accross a little bit of bad customer service...make that a lotta bit.  

I will refrain from where because that's not the point I'm eventually, hopefully going to make.  I went to a store to get supplies for a sewing project I'm working on.  Curtians.  For the kids' rooms.  It's been 2 and some change years that we have been in our house and they still do not have curtians.  But not for long!

Focus, breena!  Okay, so I was excited to buy a few things to get this project going.  That changed.  The workers at this store were snickering about a customer who had to walk away for a second to get something.  Like, they were talking bad about her.  I stood there and waited for my turn while there was another worker doing nothing.  She didn't even look up but just ignored me.  

I looked at my friend and said, "Okay, glad we're being helped."  If my husband were there he would have said, "Babe, be nice.  I'm sure they heard you."  hehehe...but it wasn't my husband.  he.he.he.  It was my friend.  My friend who had already had bad experiences from rude workers everytime she went to this store.  So, she got it.  

I then hear, "Number 45."  Ha!  There was NO ONE IN LINE...I thought, okay so maybe I actually said under my breath, "Thanks for directing me to get a number."  

So I ignore the fact that I had been ignored and I go to get a number.  I say out loud, "Oh, there are no more numbers."  At this point, I'm actually kind of nervous with how rude they are being.  One of the workers who is clearly annoyed with my need of help (psh?!) says, "lift up the red thing."  So I lift up the black lever out of being nervous."  She sounds annoyed, "NO.  The RED thing."  I think, "Okay?  I guess I'm taking apart the machine?!"  

Low and behold I lift the red machine and it's jammed.  I wasn't crazy!  No, the woman was expecting that I KNEW the machine was jammed and didn't explain that...she just ordered for me to fix it, basically.  I nervously laughed...then.I.snapped.out.of.it.  <--watch out cranky-worker-lady...mother bird is here.

Number 46.  So weird.  There was no line.  Just really weird.  But at least it wasn't with "that" cranky-worker-lady.  No, just the ignore-the-customer-lady.

I needed to get fabric from a place in the store I had never needed to before.  I didn't think I could take it off of the wall.  So I get up there and say, "So I need fabric from the wall.  How do I do that?  Do you take me to cut it?"  She just stares at me.  Then she says, "Well, what fabric?"  Me, "It's on the wall, for curtain lining."  The "other" cranky-worker-lady chimes in, of course, with a smirk on her face and says, "No, no no.  You do not cut it."  

Great, now she REALLY thinks I'm an idiot.  I try really hard to respond nicely, "Oh, I know.  I just didn't know if I was supposed to get it cut there."

So, I get my fabric.  THEN, it continues.  Bexley is tired and crying.  I wait in line to purchase my things and a this grinch-like man motions, yes puts his hand in the air, also annoyed and MOTIONS for me to go to him.  I'm thinking, "Is this really happening?!"

I'm really nice to him and he's not talking.  Now, it's not like he was nervous or an introvert.  Yeah, maybe a bad day, but completely rude.  He rang my stuff up and sent me on my way...whatev.

Then, my friend purchases her things.  I just wait by the door.  He's making small talk with her.  I assumed he was flirting b/c small talk wasn't had with the girl with the baby (me!)...annnd, my friends really pretty ;)  

Then, as she walks away she says, "Jerk."  I started to jog my memory and thought, "Wait, was he talking about me?!"   She says, "Yeah, like saying things about you having a baby here.  And he said, why doesn't she have a pacifier for the baby?  And I told him that the baby just doesn't like being out and he said that you shouldn't have brought her then."  

Oh H-NO HE DI-IN'T?!  I look back at him and say, "Are you serious?!"  He looks up and I know he was thinking.  "S***.  She's with her!"  You are in BIG trouble, mister!

I ask for a manager.  I'm sorry.  It was just TOO much.  And I promise, it wasn't just because I was being treated badly.  It's not fair that other people are being treated like this!  It's not right! 

I talked to the manager really calmly and nicely.  But I was shaking.  I was really mad and I swear if I were pregnant or on my period, I would have cried as I told her.  

I explained, "Hi, I'm sorry.  I have just had really bad customer service tonight.  The women cutting the fabric were snickering about a customer when she walked away, and then they were really short and rude to me.  And when I checked out, that man wasn't very friendly.  And then my friend, who he clearly didn't realize was with me, started talking bad about me for bringing a baby in the store?!  I mean, he told her I should have brought a pacifier or not brought her at all?!" 

She said, "I'm so embarrassed that they treated you like that.  I'm so sorry.  That's not right.  Did you find everyting you needed?"  I say, "I know.  Thank you, and I don't usually do this but I just thought that you would care about how your workers were treating people.  I'm not going to ask for anything, I just thought you should know."  She thanked me and I told her to have a good night and we left.

I was so upset!  Mother's shouldn't feel bad for wanting to get out EVEN if they know their 2-month-old is going to cry most of the time!  It's for sanities sake, people!

Our next venture was Target.  Bexley was really crying by the time we got to the checkout and the woman was really nice.  She even talked to Bexley.  I was so thankful...I needed that.

Then, we finally picked up dinner at Firehouse Subs.  A-mazing!  That pop machine?!  Genious!  Focus.  Okay, so the guys working there were 19-20ish and were SO nice!  and NO, they were not flirting, just really kind.  They were chatting, being friendly, willing to help and wait on us as we decided.  

So, I thanked them.  I told them a little bit about the customer service we had earlier and that they didn't have to be so nice, but I was thankful for it.  

You could tell they were proud of the way they were treating us.  To top it off, one of them opened the door for us.  It gave me hope!  And confidence to take Bexley out again.

I'm quite passionate about customer service.  Not in a "You owe me to be nice because you are working for me" attitude.  I guess when I worked at Dairy Queen, American Eagle or Caribou Coffee (mmm!) I went above and beyond in customer service.  I took care of people.  I turned frowns upside down for gosh sakes!  ;)  And I loved it...

You made it this far?!  Good for you!  ha ha!  All of this to say, customer service...good customer service is important.  And one day when I'm out selling the things I've created, I will take good care of you as my customer :)


  1. I go to the Chick-Fil-A right next to the Chase metroplex on Polaris for lunch sometimes. There's a fifty-ish year old woman who works there during the day. She's always walking around the store picking up trash, getting people refills, bringing mints (mints ... in a fast food restaurant) to people. I stopped her one day and told her how much I appreciated her. She said thanks and then she said, "Its nothing, really. This is the best job in the world!" "Picking up trash?" I said. "No," she said. "helping people." I make it a point to go there and say hi more often now.

  2. I know who you are talking about!!! She helps me ALL of the time! I mean, she helps me take my 4 kids to the car! She truly has a servant's heart. I just love her!! And her name starts with a C, I just can't remember it. Thanks for complimenting her. I'm sure she doesn't deal with nice people all day and needs encouragement. :)