Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let’s be grateful

As I mentioned earlier, good manners and true professionalism seem to be occurring less and less.  However, upon further introspection, it came to mind just how many fantastic experiences I’ve had with customer service representatives. 

I often take my 90 year old mother grocery shopping.  She likes to go to a “bargain outlet” type store, where the prices are more affordable.  However, part of the “bargain” is that we bag our own groceries.  On this particular occasion it was raining cats and dogs, so I hurried outside to bring the car closer.  I ran back in, fully intending to bag her groceries, and much to my surprise, the checker had already bagged them!

She could have left them to pile up, but she didn’t.  She had no obligation to do this, but what a help she was!  My mom was so appreciate, and let it be known to the checker and thanked her for her kindness.  The checker glowed with her gracious treatment, and I could see how much a little bit of thankfulness meant to her.

It brings to mind the number of times that salespeople and customer service representatives go the extra mile without even a smile, much less a “thank you.”

As a few readers of our blog pointed out, often a checker is ignored altogether while the customer chats on the cell phone.  Sometimes the representative from the bank receives a good, old fashioned tongue lashing for something that is beyond his/her responsibilities, yet they handle the problem with no complaints. 

Many thanks should be given, but are not.  We might take a moment to thank all of the unsung heroes  who do stellar jobs and perhaps don’t hear words of gratitude frequently enough. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Where have the manners gone?

Recently, I was at the grocery store and was unable to locate their preferred “savings” card.  I only had a few items, and asked the clerk if she’d mind using her number for this transaction.  She brusquely replied that it is impossible for her to do that.  I had actually been in the store 2 weeks prior, and another clerk used her number with a smile and a “no problem” attitude.  Now I was in a situation here- do I call her out on the lie?  Do I just buck up and not get the savings since I was one who misplaced my card?

The incident made me wonder what has been happening to professionalism & good manners lately.  A colleague of mine gave a workshop last month, and he was dissatisfied with his performance.  Now, his quality was still incredibly high, but not to his standards, so he graciously offered the company a refund, in the hopes that good relations be maintained.  Yet, to my astonishment, the decision maker took him to task by verbally, rudely, and angrily bashing him, his company, and his skill level before collecting any facts-an unwarranted emotional outburst.  The lack of professionalism & disrespect he received was unacceptable in my book.

So, let’s all take a deep breath, look our customer in the eye, and smile.  Yes, the smile can even be heard over the phone.  I’m certainly not suggesting that a firm answer & even sometimes a stern tone isn’t warranted.  I’m not even suggesting that the customer is always right. However, let’s get our point across while maintaining a modicum of civility & decency.  Bashing someone only reflects poorly on the one doing it.