Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Remember...I was hungry.

I thought that this was an interesting story I stumbled across on MSN today. Maybe it's because I have a strong dislike for being overwhelmed with customer service-type crap when I go out shopping. Which I think can be blamed mostly on the fact that I don't like people very much, so when they keep their distance, I usually appreciate it. This is also a big part of why I shop online when I can. Or at Target. Because customer service + Target = nonexistent, mkay?

However, just today I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get Leo a new Brita filter (because apparently, the tap water at our house just isn't good enough for him...), and a cheese slicer (because, well...we need a better way to slice the cheese in our house), and after I'd found the slicer (along with a olive/cherry pit remover that I had no idea existed until I saw it hanging there, and which made me do a little internal dance), I couldn't figure out where the Brita's were. As I glanced into the next section over, a salesperson asked me if I needed help. This was one time when I didn't want to just wander about aimlessly. (A) I was hungry; it was lunchtime, dammit. And (B) I had a feeling that the more I searched for the Brita, the more stuff I would find that I was previously unaware of needing. The helpful salesperson pointed behind me to an endcap full of fucking Brita waterpitchers, and I felt stupid, and thanked her, and then moved on with my shopping.

They had a section for all their cleaning stuff next to the kitchen stuff. I wandered in there thinking that maybe I could find a nice cleaner that will help with the removal of the dirt and mildew from the patio furniture, and there was a bot..."Can I get you a cart?" Shit. That same formerly helpful salesperson was suddenly becoming a nuisance. This was due in large part to point A made in the previous paragraph, along with the fact that (B) I really just wanted to find my shit and get the fuck out so I could take care of point A as soon as possible, dammit. She was starting to slow me down! My brain wasn't functioning properly (due to the hunger, mind you), so it took me a minute to process her question...did I need a cart? I was already a little weighed down with the Brita being as bulky as it was, and all. And I was planning on grabbing something else here in a moment, thereby adding to the products I was carrying around manually throughout the store. But I finally concluded that I did not need a cart, again I thanked her for her help, and I managed to shake her off of me.

I think it's my hair that's making me look stupid lately, or something. I'm growing out my bangs, and I think it makes me look slightly impaired, perhaps. Because it's like I don't know how to properly groom myself, or what have you. But there's no way around the awkward stage with the bang-growing-out issue. You have to just go through it, scraggly hair in your eyes be damned! Because if you let it get to you...if you trim the bangs in order to make them look manageable again, then the bangs have won. And dammit my bangs are not the mutherfucking boss of me!

Anyway, how do you all feel about customer service that appears to be over the top? I think some would rather have too much customer service than none at all. And to be fair, I do not think that the lady in BB&B was over the top...I was just not in a good state of mind for shopping, really. But I think the examples given in the article are spot-on for over the top levels of service. And I would be highly annoyed in those same situations. (Again, blame it on the fact that I should move under a rock, already, and get it over with.) Being that I work for a company that is constantly (finally!!!) striving for customer service happiness beyond anything we've ever dreamed of having, it's an interesting point to me. So tell me your thoughts on the subject...

6 comments:

Stacey K said...

I love the concept of customer service. I want it to exist when I need it, but to vanish when I want to be left alone. I've been known to go out of my way to avoid walking past the helpful clerk. I've also been known to bitch loudly when I can't find a helpful clerk when I need one.

No winning with me I guess. :-)

Xavier Onassis said...

This may come as a shock to folks, but I'm not really a "people person".

I don't like being chatted up by the Quick Trip clerks. Look Bubba, we're not friends. We're not going to be friends. So cut the extraneous chatter and just ring my shit up so I can get the fuck out of here.

You know what else gives me the red ass? At the grocery store, when I get to the check out clerk and she asks "Did you find everything OK?"

Well, yeah, I did. Know how you can tell? The fact that I'm here talking to you. You see, If I hadn't found evrything OK, I'd still be shopping for it and you and I wouldn't be sharing this special fucking moment, now would we Sparky? So scan me and bag me because talking to you is making my balls itch.

Faith said...

Hahahahaha! Awesome!

I kind of hate it when they point out how much I saved at the checkout because of the little savings card that I have to get in order to obtain the savings they choose to offer week to week. A kid told me recently that I'd saved $.55 on my purchase. "Great," I replied. "Now I can afford the mortgage this month!" He just looked at me like I was high. Er, doi....

m.v. said...

I avoid stores with customer service and commissioned salespeople. After Circuit City and many others are gone there are not that many of them left. If you can't avoid a salesperson i.e. car dealership, I come prepared to make it as short as possible.

drawer queen said...

Many of these places require their people to greet every customer within a few minutes of entering the store, ask if they can get them a basket and ask upon checkout if they found everything. Maybe it would be better to rail against the corporate idiots who make the rules instead of the poor mostly minimum wage employees who are just trying to pay the bills. Not only are the employees told to do these things, but then corporate sends in "secret shoppers" to score their performance and report if they don't do all the things they are supposed to do. Spend one day doing their job and catering to customers, some of whom act as if the mere act of having to speak to a "salesperson" or treat them as a real human being will cause irreparable damage to their (imagined) elevated and superior status, and you might not be so irritated by their offers to help. It is their job, actually, to help. (comment is to general public, not to you in particular... we all have bad days)

Hound Doggy said...

I'm a little late to the party...but
XO: Once at the "Mart" they asked if I found everything okay....and in fact I had not....so I told her, "I looked all over for crunchy bread sticks and couldn't find them". She said "huh...I'm not sure where those would be" umm...yeah...me either. :(

In other news...at my store I generally say HI to people when they come in the door. Unless they are looking down or otherwise trying to avoid me. I've found that sometimes if I speak first or when they are looking away...I scare the bejeezus out of them. (I try not to do that).
It's not brain surgery...you can tell if people are talky or not(or needy). I am not...so I follow their lead.
I sometimes say "if you need any help with anything, let me know"

This covers all bases.
I also have a fairly small store...so I can hear people. I don't butt into conversations...but I may make myself more available.

You guys talk about sales people chatin' you up. I've got customers that think we are best friends...literally.....one gal invited me to her son's baby shower. I've never been to a red-neck baby shower and I was scared so I didn't go. But I saw all the pictures.
People are nuts....

and they are all different. Some want constant attention when they walk in the door...others want to be left alone. Mostly you can tell....but I'm sure some people are mad about one thing or another.