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The decline in customer service - time to make ourselves heard!

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posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 04:17 AM
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I have seen customers treated like crap so many times it is unbelieveable. I'd say 99% of the time they just walk off and don't say anything. I had an incident a couple nights ago where I walked off b/c I didn't have time to talk to the manager but I did call when I got home. The manager was basically completely worthless to talk to and kept saying "if the employee did this then she shouldn't have" and "well, we'll have to look into it". I asked how, if they would look at the video (camera's right above each checkout lane) and she said no, they dont' use them for this kind of thing, it's theft/loss prevention. I asked how would she look into it, "by asking the cashier"! Great, that's like asking your child "who ate all the cookies in the cookie jar".

I specifically told her if she has any doubt as to what happened, or didnt' trust/beleive me (and I said I call stores to complain just for the fun of it...) then look at the video, I'm sure it will be clear as day what happened. But nope, not even a chance, nor a "well we might be able to do that".

I had to fish around w/ the manager for their store policy on how customers should be treated, if poorly, does the store apologize. "Oh yes, if our employee does something to upset a customer, that isn't right and we would certainly apologize" - well OK, so I'm waiting, I was thinking. I asked similar questions and finally said "so you don't think this situation deserves an apology then", manager replies "I did apologize. I told you we would look into it!" WTF, does that now qualify as an apology? I told her that what she said is most certainly not an apology and asked how long she had been a manager (many years...?) I said if that is how you apologize to customers then you are going to have/had a lot of unhappy people who've dealt with you. I finally made it clear what I considered an apology and I got "I'm sorry IF YOU FELT you weren't treated properly by our employee" - which is a back-handed apology - b/c it turns it around and makes it out that I am too sensitive to deal with the situation. I thanked her anyway for the apology and her "looking into" the situation.

So the point of the post is that I'm sure many of you have had similar things happen at stores where an employee is completely rude, possibly bordering on harassment, to complete ineptitude (where they recommend something that is dangerous/deadly - think Home Depot/Lowes sales people offering VERY bad advice in electrical.. Seen it a few times). Managers NEED to know these things, even if it is just a rude employee. If the employee is providing bad service it effects the business - maybe next time the customer goes somewhere else (even if decided subconsciously). Here is a biggy, IF the manager acts like they don't care or is rude themselves, then you need to talk to the store manager, owner or corporate office. I know it takes time to do this and sometimes I feel like a "rat" for doing it, but I've had franchise owners commit fraud when billing me and I had to deal with corporate office b/c the fraudster was the owner of the franchise.

In our economic system, these types of reports are very necessary and if people stop doing them businesses can crumble from the inside out - first the service goes to h3ll then customers stop coming in. This happened at one company I worked for b/c they needed more women in certain departments (b/c those dept's were the money maker's & commission based - sales of tools, lawn equipment, audio/stereo/video, etc) but the women employee's didn't know anything besides what was on the label on the wall - any customer could read that - but the guys who worked there CHOSE that job b/c the loved power tools, or stereo's and it was a big part of their life outside of work. The guys still make lots more $$ and then they moved to split commissions - everyone in the dept' shared the commissions and before long, all the knowledgeable people left (yes I'm looking at you SEARS)..

People stopped complaining when they didn't get service because the store eventually elevated unqualified people to management. Customers never called corporate to complain, so Corp didn't understand why they were loosing employees of 10-25yrs in droves - but the "new" store managers completely understood, as many of them had been promoted "unfairly" and were themselves to blame for the issue - they wouldn't incriminate themselves to corporate now would they?

So, customers, make your voices heard or we will be stuck with Wal-Marts and Targets - that's it - and the prices will skyrocket and the service will plummet at that point.
edit on 11 12 2018 by DigginFoTroof because: (no reason given)

edit on 11 12 2018 by DigginFoTroof because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 05:55 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Here's the thing DTF,

Retail stores, especially large corporate entities, do not care about their customers, they do not care about their staff, and they do not care about their produce, except in the following, limited fashion. They care whether their shareholders and executives can continue to make money, an unnecessarily large amount of it, while spending as little as they physically can get away with. Your big, corporate giants do not feel a responsibility toward their customers, either as a broad structure, or on the ground level.

There will be individual employees in customer service roles, who take their job seriously with regard to service, but even these people will, eventually, be worn down by an uncaring management structure above them, abuse from customers that the individual employee did not deserve, and being placed in positions where the company policy FORCES that employee to absorb the just indignation of customers with legitimate complaints. Eventually, even the good retail employee, will find themselves suffering an existential crisis, where the demands of their masters put them at variance with the needs of customers.

This is because the corporate structure is there for one reason, and for one reason only. To make huge amounts of money, for people who did very little work to earn it. The managers do less than the floor staff, the execs do less than the managers, and the shareholders do even less than that, and yet their pay is all backwards, relative to the amount of effort put in by each individual section of the structure. Of course, there is no amount of money you could pay a person, which would be WORTH suffering the abuse of customers in such a venue, AND the terminal lack of empathy, compassion or concern that your typical, massive corporate structures display towards either customers or employees. Over worked, underpaid staff, trained poorly and rewarded in no way adequately for their forbearance.

These companies don't care if they annoy an individual. Their greed has gained them the easy route to power, power which gives them protection. The trouble is, that the people you are dealing with are not in a position of power. They do not make the decisions which affect policy in the stores they work in, or the chains of which they are a part. So there is no accountability there. The only thing that passes for accountability in such a structure, is the measure applied to an executive who presides over a period of less growth than is expected or desired by the shareholder. The things that happen to individual customers though, really do not matter in the grand scheme of things, because one or two disgruntled customers, or even one or two thousand, make not a bit, not a speck of difference to the overarching success of the business.

They could have a huge number of sub par customer service situations, without it ever touching their bottom line in a manner that matters to the people holding the purse strings.

Could a smaller company survive such a thing? Of course not. Could your family run convenience store survive that? No. If your employees are surly, shifty eyed, rude and obnoxious, you simply cease using the store and tell your friends how dire your experience was, and word just gets around. The bottom line suffers, and either things change and people stop getting crapped on by the business owner or their employees, or the business cannot continue because it has alienated its entire userbase. But this is not the case with the large, corporate machines. The car companies, the oil and gas companies, the power distribution companies, the internet service providers, all the big machines out there whose purpose is the transmutation of product or service into profit, operate the way they do because they can, not because it is the only, or the best way to do it. They can get away with operating this way because they established for themselves unassailable positions in the economy, where they both provide vital jobs, and keep the people working those jobs under an oppressive scenario where their effort cannot buy them any mercy or respite from the crushing weight of the cost of living, creating and maintaining a workforce beholden to the company on the one hand, but abused by it at the same time, exploited, demotivated, and accepting of the hegemony, prepared to have a job that does not pay, work they continue to show up to, because starving to death slowly may be more agonising, but still has a greater appeal than doing so quickly.

The decline in customer service standards is directly proportional to the amount of value the people working in roles relating thereto, can place in the work they do and the results they see in their lives and their ease of dealing with cost of living, as a consequence of having done that work. A person who works all the hours they are given, and still has to survive on MSG laden, low cost noodles just to pretend that they have put nutrients in their bodies, does not have and should not have much motivation to continue to provide a service. A person whose work has not put in their hands the means necessary to make their lives possible and handily so, has no reason to motivate themselves or raise their personal standard, and though it is sad to say, finding someone who will work for peanuts but be better than a monkey, is, and SHOULD be rare.

Better pay and conditions, making sure employees are paid in a manner which adequately adds value to their efforts that they can actually see in their pay packets and the ease with which they can cope with the bills every month, would be an effective way to return standards to an acceptable level. But there really are no ways for things to improve without such a change. Things will certainly not improve when most employees at large stores, are paid like crap and treated worse by the company they work for. No progress toward goals, where funding an existence or a life is concerned, is a surefire way to create bad service at the ground level. An unsupported, economically depressed workforce is not healthy enough to maintain high standards.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 06:01 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I'm with you.
Couple months ago I bought some brake pads at AutoZone. Under warranty so I brought my old ones back to get my money back. Dude kept trying to give me 1 dollar less. Looking at my receipt like he didn't understand. He would up taking a buck out of his own pocket and throwing, yes throwing it at me with my receipt and told me to get out of the store.

I ran it all the way up to regional manager and it was basically we don't know what to tell you.

It's fine. I will never but anything from them again. I know it don't matter but it's all I can do.

Chalk it up to they were crazy busy and only a clue people working but that's not really my problem.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 07:01 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Think about it like...retail sucks. For EVERYONE involved.

Employees are constantly harrassed, not trained well enough to answer questions, underpayed, and expected to treat everyone like a king (which goes so far against human nature that it isn't funny).

Customers are rushed, suffering from sensory overload, can't ask questions, suffer from the "customer is always right" mentality (which does not mean what they think it means), and for the most part, they're just pawns in the never ending consumer cycle.

Get in, get out, get only what you need. Do your best to shop at smaller businesses when it's practical, always take the upper hand, and if you need to escalate a serious issue, hit them where it hurts... social media.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 07:21 AM
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Thanks for the replies. I didn't type the entire incident(s) (there was one at the store before and after, but those were just people who didn't know their product). I want it to be made clear, I receive NO JOY from any of these processes with the small exception when I had the breakthrough with the manager when she realized that what she did wasn't an apology - and that wasn't b/c it was a "win" for me, but hopefully b/c she might look at what an apology means in her regular life and use that as a "lesson" with interpersonal communication. There is so much of that type of thing, mis-use and misunderstanding of words, phrases, and I think it is largely due to ignorance that it isn't correct, not our of intentional misuse or spite - if you understand what I mean.

I don' mention I started the call with the manager complementing them on the new remodel of the store, how nice it looked, etc as well as telling her that on 3 occasions w/n 2-3 weeks, I've dealt with the same employee (call him "Steve") and in every instance he has gone above and beyond what I would expect for an employee and has provided excellent customer service each time, even in area's "that weren't his" - he took responsibility upon himself, walked across the store and found out for himslef - placed a special order and a few other things - all while being polite, curteous and respectful. I told her I wanted to thank him and the store for his excellent service. So that is how the conversation began - I tried to start off on a good "note". She was less than interested/excited in hearing this and simply said "thank you I'll make a note of that" and I got the impression it was filed in the revolving circular bin under the counter. (I'd like to find out if he got ever heard about this - should I ask him when I see him?)

The problem with me is I grew up in the 80's/90's and in a rural small town, with a medium size city about 15 miles away. It's mostly farm land or light industrial (wood working shops, lumber mill/sales, metal working shops, custom fabrication, lots of small family businesses, i'd say maybe 80% of the jobs are with small companies or self employed. Much of my shopping while growing up was done at family run stores (grocery store may own 3-10 locations country wide). The large corporate store in my town (they have 300+ stores) we knew the manager and 3 dept heads all had kids in my class or a yr before or after me. Most everyone in the store lived in the town. Now I'd guess maybe 5% live in the town and I've never seen these kids/people outside the store in 30+ years! Unfortunately no other size-able grocery stores in the town (a dollar general, but come on, that's like a MEGA convenience store with grocery store prices.

I just feel that there has to be a way to fight this corporate mentality. It's difficult to do when large corp's own all the primary land or the people that do want insane prices for it (b/c it their precious family farm, which they lease out the fields and never farmed a day in their life - and only owned 50 years - but that is another story).

I would be interested in seeing a store, the size of a medium grocery store (say 70-100,000 sq ft including loading docs, storage, etc) where different area's were leased by individuals/families/businesses and they were responsible for the products in that isle/area. Each isle was given a designation (dairy, fresh fruit, canned veggie & fruit, baked goods, personal care products, etc and then each family would have someone working the isle. Basically like a cooperative grocery store. IDK if that kind of thing would work but our farmers markets are kind of similar, each stand sells whatever is their specialty and they try to keep a variety of vendors but butchers, baked goods & sweets are the big sellers on top of ready to eat food vendors.

I can just see where all this is heading, it is a slow drip eroding the dam and at some point a storm is going to happen, and it need not be a large one in some places, and we are going to see a collapse of stores and or services. This is one reason why I always have larger stocks than normal for non-perishables that can be used over the years.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 07:29 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

I've been in the service industry for over a decade and it still amazes me how unaware some customers can be. I can honestly tell the difference between people who have worked in service and those who haven't by how they treat me and my co-workers when we're working.

I've thrown customers out for insulting staff more than once.

That being said, there are entitled a$$hats everywhere, on both sides of the register.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof


Ummm...the...”time to make us herd”...as consumers fast approaches...

It’s then we can vent our spleens on these servers of the customer...

Methinks that more than than just a Black Friday...we may get to see red...







YouSir



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 09:51 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Call that inept store manager back and tell her/him that you are going to Yelp the crap out of her store, as well as Facebook. If that doesn't change the attitude, then go onto Yelp and Facebook and give them a zero star review and tell your story.

That's the one thing that can sometimes work these days, in those situations. Usually stores are terrified of bad reviews on social media.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 10:37 AM
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a reply to: wheresthebody


Lol I'm also a long time retail vet! Maybe we should make a thread about the worst types of customers and employees.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: Atsbhct

I agree.

Customer services can be a highly stressful job, naturally the line of work affects this but I'm fairly sure there's a prick in every paw.

Working with the public can be a great experience, even with a large business. Yet I have to say consumerism sucks, wages suck and usually whilst working with such large companies 1/20 customers suck.

It can be a depressing experience for all. From Correcting the mess colleagues make due to them just drawing a wage or genuinely passed giving a damn to the abuse given to staff from people who seemingly get kicks out of the experience. It's sad, no respect nor care given.

Admittedly I've fell victim to a pessimistic approach to customers in the past, stress gets to you. Usually you spot bad customers to genuine one's a mile away yet at the same time it's a common occurrence to have customers try and make life hard, get free stuff etc. Sometimes we get it wrong.

I was almost fired once for replacing a customer's item, the woman was nearly in tears... All because my manager was a penny pinching corporate Scrooge. I do however say this with a smile, some of my best experiences of customer service on either side of the fence was with large corporate entities.

So leave them brilliant reviews, when they get it right. Chances are they've been fighting a rising tide and your appreciation will make their day, elevate them from the humdrum and often depressing line of work they happen to be in.

And maybe, just maybe someone in a higher office will work out how to better the experience of customer relations, or even better fire the "pricks" in the paw and replace them with someone genuinely caring and appreciative of the important role they play in society.

One can wish right?



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 11:41 AM
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a reply to: wheresthebody

Haha I agree.

Normally a shy person but my experience in hospitality made me appreciative of good customer service, I understand how a few kind words and appreciation can elevate a person's day. Respect.

There's a flip side though, people who work that line of work who've became nothing but bitter and usually hostile to others in the same line of work. They're often the most ruthless.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 01:51 PM
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originally posted by: YouSir
a reply to: DigginFoTroof


Ummm...the...”time to make us herd”...as consumers fast approaches...

It’s then we can vent our spleens on these servers of the customer...

Methinks that more than than just a Black Friday...we may get to see red...


YouSir


Nam IDK if it is the "poet" in you or what, but I sure have a darn hard time understanding what you are getting at in some of your posts. It's like a cryptic "twin talk" at some points, lol



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 02:00 PM
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IDK if I said in the OP that I called corperate after talking to the manager, but I did and left my # for them to call back. I wasn't holding my breath TBH. Well I just got a call and explained the situation, specifically the way the manager pushed off the apology on "how I felt" - which wasn't an apology I told her. The customer service guy seemed to understand why I called and I got some chuckles from him when I explained her responses, and wanted to make sure he heard correctly.

I made sure to tell him I wasn't even mad at the store or the employees, just the attitude of especially the manager, and IDK if it was her training in how to handle apologies or if she was in a bad mood or didn't like the sound of my voice, but there was something that was off/wrong with the whole thing.

The guy from corporate did apologize for both of the employees and said that this kind of thing should never happen and that he would be talking to the store manager(s). So now I'm supposedly goging to get a call from one of them as it is policy if the customer wants it. I said it was never about the apology itself, it was the offer of an apology, the sentiment behind the action (which was lacking). I told them the managers were welcome to call but I didn't expect any further apologies as that was never the intention from the very beginning, only to let them know there was a problem with an employee.

So, it does seem that some companies do care (at least it seems) what their customers think and how they view the company. It was a refreshing call compared to many other large corp's I've dealt with (the fraudster franchise owner - that corp was THE WORST!). So maybe it is worth it to make yourself heard when things aren't right within a store. I don't think that it has hurt anything at least.



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 06:09 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I'm glad this was resolved for you, well almost.

Just out of curiosity, do you have a lot of bad experiences with stores?



posted on Nov, 12 2018 @ 06:30 PM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I believe that you should put "all you got" into things. Even if its sweeping a floor or making a meal.

Sweep the ever living God out of the floor and cook your heart off. Whatever. Things will be great.

Customer service included.

In CS, some clients dont know what they want so you have to give them what they ask for instead. It takes time to know who and when, but great CS people make sales as an offshoot of just getting people what they WANT. No matter what they say.



posted on Nov, 13 2018 @ 02:28 AM
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originally posted by: tadaman
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I believe that you should put "all you got" into things. Even if its sweeping a floor or making a meal.

Sweep the ever living God out of the floor and cook your heart off. Whatever. Things will be great.

Customer service included.

In CS, some clients dont know what they want so you have to give them what they ask for instead. It takes time to know who and when, but great CS people make sales as an offshoot of just getting people what they WANT. No matter what they say.





I worked in customer service with that mentality. 2 years later I suffered from burnout. It's impossible to work in CS and be all positive when most of your day is listening to idiots screaming and insulting YOU personally for something the company, that pays minimum wage, managed to screw up. You end up resenting the company and not giving two #s for the person experiencing an issue. This is the cold hard truth. Glad that part of my life is over.



posted on Nov, 13 2018 @ 02:39 AM
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I am very short sighted and i apologize in advance but this is a very very high wall of text i could not read at all

So i may have missed exactly what happen to you that caused the entire thing, if you don't bother, could you explain what exactly is that caused you to feel angry?

I'm pretty sure i know the feeling, but without an explanation about what happened it is hard to understand without bias


To be clear, would you describe the incident in detail?
edit on 13-11-2018 by BoneSay because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 13 2018 @ 03:22 AM
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originally posted by: YouSir
a reply to: DigginFoTroof


Ummm...the...”time to make us herd”...as consumers fast approaches...


YouSir



It's a big herd ....



posted on Nov, 13 2018 @ 03:44 AM
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a reply to: BoneSay

tldr.guru...



posted on Nov, 13 2018 @ 03:51 AM
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originally posted by: Lysergic
a reply to: BoneSay

tldr.guru...


Ohh of course, this explains it all




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