OmSigDAVID
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 11:05 am
@plainoldme,
plainoldme wrote:
Another sort of customer is the one that asks for a recommendation.

Some people are great. Others should have limited access to the rest of humanity.

There is a woman who always tells the tale of how she was going to make such and such dish but hadn't started it on time and so has to put it off to tomorrow and something else.

I am a good cook and I sometimes fail to plan ahead . . . generally, I don't let that stop me . . . I just eat later . . . but this woman does this every Saturday.

She cornered a female co-worker and I the other day, asking for an inexpensive white to put in her dish that she could also drink. My co-worker turned to me and asked what I thought.

I knew she hadn't enough patience to deal with this picky procastinator.

I suggested the wine of the month . . . mild, dry but tasty.

Three minutes of hemming, hawing and whining followed in which she denied the wine was dry. While palates differ . . . this wine is extraordinarily dry. She waited long enough until the effective manager finished his task in the basement and could wait on her.

She came back and told us that he knows her "taste buds."

My Eastern European counterpart let out a stream of four letter words as soon as she was out the door.

Wasting time with her nonsense, was her finishing remark.
Plain, I 'd be less than candid if I failed to observe
that what u described appears deeply endemic to the nature of the work, dealing with customers.
It seems to me that u have to expect that to happen in a variety of forms, going in.

Human nature has been that way for a long time;
not much chance it is going to change soon.





David
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 11:20 am
One thing about having an art gallery twice - I don't remember any negative dealings with customers. That part of our gallery/studios was enjoyable.
Merry Andrew
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 11:40 am
With the attitudes expressed here, I can only come to the reluctant conclusion that both Plainoldme and Tai Chi are definitely in the wrong line of work.
maporsche
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 11:50 am
@Tai Chi,
Tai Chi wrote:
Good grief maporsche, the 20 second rule is an unwritten rule of my company not me!


I'd love to know where you work; so that I can make sure never to stop in there again.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 12:30 pm
@ossobuco,
I suspect you wouldn't have been dealing with the volume of customers T. C.'s shop does on a far too regular basis.
ehBeth
 
  3  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 12:33 pm
@Merry Andrew,
Don't know about POM, but T. C's employer is not known for having good levels of staffing. Individual clerks are quite pleasant, but they are invariably rushed and seem to be quite stressed. I don't think I've been in one of their locations in the past decade where you don't have to join a conga line of customers trying to find the one person in the store who actually knows where things are - and has the time to point you in the right location.

You definitely don't go there to be pampered. You go there because the prices are good and/or you can't find the fitting/part/tool anywhere else within a sensible driving distance.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 12:33 pm
@maporsche,
You're probably best staying in Illinois.
0 Replies
 
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 12:37 pm
I know an operator for our major regional telephone company, who told me the 20 second rule was company policy. You'd better not make a phone call in New England then, maporsche.
maporsche
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 12:58 pm
@MontereyJack,
For telephony companies, answering a phone call in 20 seconds is a standard rule. It's typically referred to as the 80/20 rule; answering 80% of your calls in 20 seconds or less.

That doesn't mean that the talking part of the call is 20 seconds, just that the customer only has to wait in queue for 20 seconds or less (80% of the time).

Oh, and it totally depends on the question too. If I'm just asking for the phone number to a certain shop, then 20 seconds seems like a long time. If I'm asking for help installing a washer and dryer, you better be willing to spend more than 20 seconds with me. And company policy should encourage clerks to ensure that customers feel satisfied.

And even then; to complain about having to help customers or to consider such help as a 'waste of time' is absolutely intolerable.
maporsche
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 01:00 pm
@ehBeth,
Sounds like a Home Depot.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 01:02 pm
@ehBeth,
Huh? No, not in an non chain type art gallery. I was just musing.

I'm totally sympathetic to T.C. in her situation.
mismi
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 01:12 pm
@maporsche,
I don't think you have worked retail before. Customer Service is an entirely different thing - you are paid to help the customer...you are not paid by how many customers you sell something to.

When you get paid on commission as many who work retail do, then getting the sale and moving on is actually encouraged - or they wouldn't have commission. And it's not just about being helpful. You can bend over backwards for many people and it is just not enough. Then they leave without buying anything. Yes, the person gets all the help she needs but then you missed three other opportunities while trying to please the woman. It is frustrating for the employee. Retail is not always set up to make for pleasant employees if you ask me.

One of the most frustrating things is helping ladies in the dressing room. You bring them scads of clothes, walking back in to check on them, get them another size, whatever they need...all while trying to help other customers as well. Then they walk out leaving all of their clothes in the dressing room without buying a single thing . You know you have to get all that stuff back on the floor to top it all off. It is depressing. Makes me want to go eat a quart of icecream.

Eva
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 01:15 pm
@Tai Chi,
Tai Chi wrote:
...Pushing products on customers that they don't even know they need or want (and isn't that what marketing is all about?) ...


NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
As someone who has been involved in marketing for practically all my working life, I can promise you that this is a very warped definition. You really do need to find a better job, TC.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 01:23 pm
@maporsche,
maporsche wrote:
That doesn't mean that the talking part of the call is 20 seconds, just that the customer only has to wait in queue for 20 seconds or less (80% of the time).


two companies back from where I am now - the call completion target was 30 seconds - the folks in that call centre group didn't have much of a chance of making any customer satisfied, they were too busy trying to get people off the line to pick up the next call to give a useful answer
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 01:24 pm
@maporsche,
one of their competitors

definitely wouldn't recommend HD either, the way they treat people (staff and customers) there - blechhh
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 01:28 pm
@Eva,
Marketing and sales are two quite different processes (wanna read my paper on the differences and history?) .
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 01:43 pm
@ehBeth,
Absolutely, and I've done both.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  0  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 02:33 pm
@mismi,
What basis could you possibly have for calling me a liar?

My first retail job was in a kite store, where I was supposed to take customers who brought their kids into the store looking for a cheap $20 plastic kite to take to the beach and I was supposed to upsell them to $150+ sport kites. I did that for 1 year. I was paid minimum wage, and receive 20% commission on my sales.

My 2nd retail job was at a Home Depot; I did this for 6 months. I did not receive commission.

My 1st sales job was doing outbound telemarketing selling bank products to customers at dinner time. I would receive $10 per product.

My 2nd sales job was taking inbound card activation calls and selling bank products to those customers. I would receive between $3 and $15 per product (depending on the product).

My 3rd 'sales' job was a waiter; and believe me there was a lot of upsell requirements at that job too.

Moving on was encouraged IF IF IF IF IF it didn't impact the customers perception of service. If the customer expected me to reshape the world I would have to do my best to reshape the world.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 02:37 pm
It's important for people to understand that EVERY SINGLE job is based on customer service.

The janitor. The lawyer. The CEO. The sales people. The marketing person. The delivery truck driver.

None of these people would be employed if it were not for the customer. Your job, my job, every job is dependent on the customer.


Maybe there's a reason I'm now making 8x the minimum wage that most retail stores pay. I'm certain the reason I've been able to move up from the lowly outbound telemarketer to where I'm at (w/o a college degree) is because of my focus on what is truly important to the business....the customer.



I guess if people are happy as a retail clerk, they can take the attitudes I've seen expressed here. If someone is reading this and wants to know how to succeed at work; I'd suggest taking my advice and not emulating these attitudes (anonymously or not)
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Mar, 2010 02:45 pm
@mismi,
Have you never walked into a store, tried on clothes, didn't see anything you like, and left w/o buying anything.

How often do you NEVER go back into that store? There is one store that I shop in now BECAUSE of the retail clerk. I've sinced moved, and I now travel 40 miles to go to this store and I always call ahead to see if that employee is there. Good customer service (even for sales people) WILL result in more sales over time. Maybe not at that exact moment, but over time.
 

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