I’m talking about customer service. As important as acquiring new customers is, retaining them is just or even MORE important. If you have one loyal customer you’ve basically got free PR in terms of spreading the word to others. I know if I like something I’ll stop at nothing to get everyone around me to start liking it too. And if I don’t like something…wow, watch out. Now that I’ve introduced the topic of this post please allow me to continue on with my grumbling.
There’s a stationary store in Bath that I often use to print, photocopy, and scan. I went into Woods The Stationers on Bond St. yesterday to print out some documents. When I handed my USB key to the clerk he slipped downstairs to print off the paperwork and there I was left waiting by the counter. I’m not sure if my glancing around my surroundings caused reason for suspicion but within 30 seconds of the clerk leaving an older lady who also worked at the store came in to “monitor” me. I’m not sure if there was racial profiling…or ageism (clearly I believe I don’t look a day over 18) and feel free to call me overly paranoid. Maybe she would’ve come regardless of who was left at the counter, which is totally fine. I’ve worked retail. I know you have to keep an eye on things but there’s a right way to do it and there’s a wrong way to do it.
-Just speak to the customer and have a light chat. I was the only one in the store and I wasn’t doing anything but waiting.
-Look busy. Straighten up products, pretend to do some book-keeping…whatever, I don’t care!
-Stand by the side of the store and stare at the customer. Talk about an awkward situation for both parties. Well, maybe she didn’t feel awkward, but I certainly did.
As soon as the guy came back with my paperwork she disappeared, confirming my suspicion of being watched. Maybe I’m blowing things out of proportion but it really PISSED ME OFF! I felt like a thief and felt so put on the spot that she may as well have just pulled out a camcorder to start videotaping me or ask me to hand over my bag.
Point is, I did not get any sense of customer satisfaction and I have no plans of visiting that store again unless I’m desperate. And when I say desperate I’m talking about a life or death situation here. So here’s a tip for you, Woods The Stationers: shape up your staff and how they treat customers before you start to lose more. This is the last time I will provide any kind of service to you.