How was the service?

It’s officially spring! The sun is shining and we no longer have to put up with sub-zero temperatures. Spring time also means that it is now time for you to hit the shops and stores to gobble up all the new spring fashions. While you head off shopping, what should you expect? Line ups, messy displays, poor customer service? One never knows.

One thing that has been “grinding my gears” lately is poor customer service. I work in a local music store here in Winnipeg where we pride ourselves on the customer service that we provide. Customer service is emphasized by each and every staff member, starting out with how you greet the customer right down to the minute details of conversation. As far as I am concerned, customer service is very important. How someone is treated affects the probability of whether they will ever step foot in your store ever again.

As I have been doing some shopping over the past few weeks, I have noticed some exceptional and terrible customer service. But is there any way of knowing what type of service you will experience before you enter a store? I believe there is.

It is all based upon your expectations. If you head off to a fast food joint, don’t expect “Grade A” service. The idea behind fast food is simple: you show up, order, pay and leave. You are not at that restaurant to be waited on hand and foot. On the other hand, a smile would be appreciated. I must say, when the individual taking my order is smiling it gives me a good feeling. So, don’t expect anything insane from a fast food joint, but notice and acknowledge good service when you experience it.

What about retail though? Retail stores can vary greatly on the customer service spectrum. Some stores will be great, others not-so-great. A general rule: higher-end stores will provide better service. If you walk into a store that is known for providing cheap clothing, don’t expect someone to be tending to your every need. In the same respect, when you walk in to a higher-end store the odds are greater that someone will be helping you out.

Although I hate to generalize stores based on their defining aspects, by following these simple rules you can know roughly what to expect even before you dawn the doorway of a store. Now, there are always exceptions.

There is nothing I love more as a customer than having a staff member go the extra mile for me, but when you have a staff member help you out, be sure to thank them. They are being nice to you; the least you could do is be nice back.