When did courtesy stop being common? When did customers start being invisible?
A while back, I had an experience of being totally ignored in a store that left me shaking my head (it wasn’t the first or last of these, sad to say).
I went to a local phone store to find out about upgrading my cell phone. There were two young male associates, each talking with a customer. So I wandered around for a few minutes, looking at each a couple of times.
No. I did NOT expect either one to drop his current customer and immediately rush over to me, but I did expect one or both to make eye contact and let me know he saw me.
It didn’t happen, so I left. Neither associate so much as lifted his head. I headed over to the other phone store in the mall and got immediate help. While all their associates were busy, too, a couple did take the time to smile and let me know they’d be with me in a minute or two.
The first phone store will never see me again, even though the manager did write an apologetic response to my email. He said they should have at least welcomed me (duh), and he’ll talk with them again. I have to wonder what kind of training those young men have had (the word “again” stands out).
Companies everywhere are crying out for more business, more customers, more money — so how can they allow this type of culture to exist in their stores?
With online sites like Yelp allowing anyone to post a review, why are so many companies not taking the time to make their customer experience the best it can be?
If you’re a store owner or manager, or if you’re in charge of training sales personnel:
I return again and again to the thought that Maya Angelou so eloquently expressed:
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.