The Customer is always right...yeah right!

It was retail magnate Harry Gordon Selfridge who is attributed as saying that 'the customer is always right'.  Now I believe that most us us have experience which would contradict that statement.

However, the premise is an excellent starting point - whether it's true or not!

Customer Service, based on my day to day experience, is poor at best and infuriating at worst.  Good service, when it shows up, simply stands out a mile.

At its most basic, really good customer service requires nothing more than the person dealing with me treating me with a little interest and common courtesy.  And yet...

Recently I went into the petrol station at one of my local superstores.  After filling my tank with diesel I went to pay.  The kiosk was empty of other customers, two attendants sat at their posts and another member of staff was restocking the shelves.

There I stood and waited, and waited, no one acknowledged my presence.  I did wonder for a mad moment whether I turned invisible.

What I'd done was inadvertently walk into the middle of an enthusiastic and humour filled three way conversation taking place between these colleagues.

Eventually my pump number was barked at me and still without eye contact or another word to me the transaction took place, whilst the friendly banter continued around me.

Once the VAT receipt I had requested was slammed down on the counter, obviously without a word to me, I took a breath and said...

'Could I make a comment please?'  The conversation stopped rather abruptly.

I very politely explained to the person dealing with me that they had just served me without a please, a thank you or even a look and that in my opinion, that was appalling customer care.

The look of utter bemusement on the faces of the two employees behind the counter had to be seen to be believed.  They did not have a clue that they had done anything at all wrong.

I immediately went to the superstore, asked to speak to the Duty Manager and reported the incident.  You see, as a constructive complainer I tell people when they fall short of the service I expect - as I praise those that provide service which is, in my opinion, very good.

The big problem for business is that surveys tell us that most unhappy customers don't say anything - they just take their money elsewhere, in deadly silence.

How good are your staff at making certain that your customers feel special?  It just might be worth giving it some thought!