What do YOU want from me?

What do you want from me?

There I was, minding my own business when…

I was waiting in line at the cash-wrap of a local retailer, carrying product in my hand I intended to buy. As I approached the register, I overheard a conversation between the cashier and customer that made me cringe.

A female customer was deciding at the register, which pieces she truly wanted and asked to take things she would not be purchasing off the transaction. The associate looked unfazed as she removed items and placed them to the side.

Next the woman produced a coupon. At this point, the associate became snippy as she alerted the customer that by deleting items from the transaction, she no longer qualified for the coupon. I felt like I was in the midst of an Adam Lambert video as her exact words were, “What do YOU want from me?”

Do I really have to be nice to everyone?

Trust me, I get it becomes annoying when customers change their minds mid-transaction. Frustration occurs when people don’t comprehend the terms of a coupon and you are forced to explain it to them, by pointing out the fine print.

In reality, it is your job to service the customer. There is no reason to become rude to someone purchasing or otherwise when she simply does not understand the rules. People change their minds about purchasing for all sorts of reasons. It is not a personal affront to you, don’t turn it into one for them.

Whose responsibility is it anyway?

Ultimately, it is the leadership teams responsibility to ensure a smooth customer experience. It begins with the hiring process, when a leader determines whether the candidate is able to withstand treating customers respectfully regardless of circumstance.

Leadership accountability continues throughout training and beyond. Associates do not learn in a vacuum. If they see leaders treating employees or customers badly, they in turn respond to others similarly. If you don’t want badly behaved employees, look to your behavior as a leader first.

How do you react when you observe poor customer service? Do you complain to management or simply slink away, never to be seen again? What if the poor customer experience did not involve you except as a witness? Share your thoughts and stories.

2 thoughts on “What do YOU want from me?

  1. eof737 says:

    I drafted a letter to a topflight publication because I had reached out to them several times about paid my subscription and they hadn’t bothered to call me back… I called again and resolved the matter and now I wish I had sent my letter first… I might modify and send it. Poor customer service is inexcusable. 🙂


    1. miriamgomberg says:

      In this day of social media, it is even more important to give great customer service. If you are unhappy from an interaction with a business, it is really easy to get on twitter or Facebook telling the world about it.
      Thanks Elizabeth for sharing your story. Miriam


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