It happens daily as I visit retail stores, communicate with vendors, and meet people at networking events. Lack of enthusiasm, conviction, clarity, and excitement on the part of company employees and sometimes business owners and leaders themselves.
Why is this happening?
People tell me that they are too busy to care – I see this sometimes when the employees talk among themselves but not to the customers. This happens within Starbucks and other coffee places at least twice a week that I witness. It feels like a clique of employees – stopping their socializing long enough to take orders and mechanically get their job done. It is really disappointing.
The other day I was in a big box office products store. I just wanted to be a customer. After getting to the checkout, my book was rung up, I swiped my credit card and then the register blanked out. An assistant manager-type person came to help the newer employee and insisted that I wait nearly five minutes as the system was frozen and totally rebooted, in case my credit card information was still there. Probably it wouldn’t be though, she said.
After waiting over five minutes, this head cashier/manager type person told me that their system “sucks”. I told her I just wanted to buy a book.
Obviously there are two different sets of goals and intentions in situations like these. We need to get back to listening to our customers and solving their issues while minimizing our own backend issues as transparently as possible.
What is your retail or online customer service nightmare story? Share it through comments or emailing me directly. I’ll pass them on.