Have you ever had that moment when you’re standing at the checkout counter and the cashier says something so…so…well, you wonder if they really said what you think they said? That comment that later you wonder why you didn’t just walk out. Have you thought of a time? Maybe you could fill a list of times.
Over the past two weeks, this has happened twice to me. There are times when you wonder if people really understand the price of customer service. Remember that old credit card commercial? One well stocked store, $$$. Three working cash registers, $$$. One friendly and fast cashier, priceless. Priceless and not always easy to find.
Recently I was in our local Dollar General. We live near a small town and our choices are pretty limited. The cashier has worked here and at a different store in town. I searched through my purse, trying to find my own pen to write the check. Because there is only one line available at this store, the line was growing behind me. Finally I asked if I could borrow a pen. My cashier grabbed a pen, tossed it onto the counter and muttered loud enough for me to hear, “I wish people would start bringing their own pens.”
What? Had I really just heard that correctly? When my youngest son looked up at me and suggested next time I’d better have a pen or I wouldn’t be able to write the check, I knew I’d heard right. I stopped writing my check long enough to explain to him that there might not be a next time because there was always another store that would be happy to provide a pen for me to write with.
One pen + one muttered comment= one customer that isn’t going back.
Then last weekend we ran to the city and I needed three books from the bookstore. I ran in, found the books and once again found myself at the checkout counter. This time a man was the cashier and he asked if I had one of their store cards. Okay, I pretty much dislike store cards. There is one or two that I have but I don’t shop often enough or at one store so my perks never show up. For that reason, I told him I didn’t have one and wasn’t interested in one at the moment. “Really?” He asked. “You’d save 10% just today. It’s really a no-brainer, if you ask me.”
I didn’t ask him. I just wanted my books. But I obviously had no-brains because then he had to continue by telling me I didn’t need to write out my check, which by the way would be completely obsolete with in the next 4-5 months. NO store would be taking checks. Well, even their registers weren’t made to take checks anymore. Yep, he’d just seen it on CNN that morning and no one would be accepting checks in a few months. Finally I suggested that perhaps this would be my last trip to their store. I left there and completely understood why bookstores are going out of business so quickly.
One know-it-all cashier + feeling like I had to defend my payment method= AMAZON.com.
When did things become so skewed? Did either of these people remember that my check is their paycheck?
I did learn a lesson through both of these experiences. I’ve learned how much I really appreciate those who do their job well and I tell them. Where good customer service use to be the norm, now it’s nothing to take for granted. Knowing that, it makes it much easier to complement the person who is making a real effort to help you.
So, what great stories do you have? I’m sure we can all relate!
Enjoy your weekend,