Hi and welcome back to itsmywriteright! I’m Paul and today I want to engage you, in a conversation about Customer Service.
Yes I know, one of the most difficult things to get is good customer service and it would seem that although companies make a big show of giving lip service to customer service. How many actually see customer service as being really important for the very life, well-being and success of their business.
Here is an example of what not to do.
Let’s get to the meat of the matter
Today we are going to talk about an incident that happened to me (yes me!) during the Christmas period. That day I visited a plumbing shop in my home area. It is a shop that I frequently visit, so it’s not a place with which I am unfamiliar or that to whom I am a perfect stranger. In fact, I am positive that they know me, having visited the said establishment for the past thirty (30) years.
But before we go into the details let us lay some foundation about customer service
So what’s Customer Service
Customer Service can be defined as the assistance and advice provided by a company through their management and staff to those persons who buy or use their company’s products, goods and services.
It is therefore by it’s very definition the act of taking good care of your customers’ individual needs by providing and delivering helpful, high quality professional service and cheerful assistance in ensuring that your customers’ specific requirements are met to the very best of your company’s ability.
I will push the point that good customer service translates into you, ensuring that the assistance you, provide to your customer is efficient, helpful and done in a friendly manner. It is essential that you, handle all customer issues effectively and that you, do your very best to ensure that your customer leaves your premises a satisfied customer willing to become a repeat customer and not be a replacement customer.
So let’s get back to the incident
As I said I am at this plumbing store (name withheld) in my area, it’s the holiday season, and it’s also the day after a holiday, only the owner of the establishment is there attending to customers. When I entered there were two customers ahead of me. the owner was attending the first customer, a young woman, who actually took a while.
By this time eight other customers have entered the premises, and I can see that the owner is beginning to become a bit agitated, as there are now ten customers waiting to be attended to. He finally finishes with the young lady and quickly deals with the second person and comes to me.
Before I can tell him what I want, the person behind me blurts out his order – it’s a high value order. The owner politely asked him to hold on a moment while he attends to me. So I placed my order, at this the owner seem to get visibly upset. You see my item is not a high value item [I wanted 35 1gram weights called sinkers, used in fishing. I used them as weight for the sponge filters that I used in my fishponds and aquariums. These items have a unit cost of $2.75 each. I know the price because I buy these weights regularly and in large quantities from his store, from his staff.
As I said he is visibly upset and so we walked to the showcase where the weights are kept. I show him the ones I want to acquire, he picks up the price tag and tells me that the price for each one is $3.75. I asked him if he is sure about the price and he answered in the affirmative. Now I am upset as this is an item that I have been buying regularly from this store. I am positive that he deliberately raised the price (for reasons known only to him). So I simply bought 30 of a different weight and left his store. There and then I vowed, never to return.
Fast forward to this week
So I am replacing the urinal in a church, not too far from his business place and my plumber Dennis decides to go to his business place to get the accessories that we need. Reluctantly I go with him, we see the items that we require and proceed to buy them. While Dennis is collecting the items, I took the opportunity to inquire from the clerk present the price of the said 1 gram weight. He picks up the same tag that the owner picked up and tells me that the price is $2.75. I promptly bought all that they had. (I wanted the receipt as proof of the price)
So now I had conclusive proof that the owner deliberately attempted to overcharge me.
So let’s do the customer service test!
- Did the owner satisfy his customer’s requirement to the best of his ability? – The answer is NO!
- Was the owner helpful and friendly? – The answer is NO!
- Did his customer leave satisfied that he had received the best service possible? – The answer is NO!
- Did the owner do everything possible to maintain the integrity and professionalism of his organization? – The answer is NO!
- Did the owner do everything possible to maintain customer loyalty? – The answer is NO!
- Did the owner do everything possible to ensure that the customer remained as repeat business? – The answer is NO!
- Has the owner set his business apart from the other plumbing business in his area? – The answer is YES!, but in a negative way.
Typical People responses to things like this
Most people who encounter similar situation to mine would do one of two things –
- Tell him off ( in our local language we would “to give him a piece of our mind”) and also to tell everyone else, and never return (to his business place), or
- Say nothing to him, (of course you, tell everyone else) and never shop at his store again.
With both scenarios the outcome is the same for the business
- Loss of business;
- Loss of customers;
- Loss of integrity;
- Loss of customer confidences;
- The organization become an object of gossip and ridicule;
Either which way the only result is negative promotion of the business, for what really was a totally unnecessary action on the part of the owner that would never bear any good fruit.
We have a saying in my country – “you, don’t cut-off you, nose to spite your face” which simply means that I will continue to buy from that store, but only where there is no other alternative, or where it is expedient to do so.
Most people would only be able to tell their family of friends or use Facebook, Instagram and other media to spread the information, unfortunately for this owner, I have a website
The owner has done irreparable damage to his personal integrity and the integrity of his organization. For a business to lose money and clientele for something so foolish, just does not make good business sense.
The owner has shown himself not to be trustworthy, by extension his business will always be tarnished by the same brush
My plumber whom I told about what occurred, will always be concerned about his purchases, and therefore would think twice about buying from this establishment.
All in all, I really cannot see any customer service positives coming out of the actions of this business owner.
As I said It’s My Write Right!
Paul is gone
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