We tried to get my husband two pair of corduroy slacks before leaving on our trip Christmas eve (the trip that was not taken because I got sick). We went to a favored local shop with nice owners, with good taste that usually has his size. I’d been nearly two weeks ago to check things out while my husband was home sick, set some aside so we went the Saturday before Christmas so he could try them on.
Didn’t work. So we asked them to special order his size. They said they couldn’t get them before Christmas. We needed at least one pair for our trip so husband Jim set up an account with the company and arranged for two-day FedEx. The shop owner was in touch, we told him what was going on and he called the company that he does business with every day and complained that his customers were able to get stock but his shop could not. A company owner assured him he’d be overnighted two pairs of slacks. They did not arrive on time, neither did ours.
Now that I’m finally well enough to venture out, I’ll stop by the shop tomorrow to see the latest episode in this saga. All I can tell you is that we’ve spent a good deal of money there, and the shop’s owner has always been nice to us. Throughout this he’s been on the phone giving me updates and we are very appreciative of his efforts. Thanks, Doug!
Now I’m going to tell you a recent story of old-time customer service. Last fall, Jim was amassing a woodworking tool set for our nephew, now eight years old. Many tools are on a slightly smaller scale, and many are antiques. One antique he found was from a dealer in upstate NY. Jim emailed the order and the tool’s owner took the tool, packaged it himself and mailed it at his own expense with a note asking if this was what Jim was looking for. If not, please mail it back. If so, please remit payment. I emailed him in thanks and to arrange payment and it turns out we grew up in the same area and worked at the same arts organization at the same time 30 years ago. Talk about trusting your customer! This guy was aces!
Unfortunately we come upon many inept, rude or condescending people who are paid to serve the customer. The drycleaner I went to the first two weeks, no one was ever at the counter. There was no bell. There was a gal in back chatting on her cell phone with a friend. After several minutes she appeared, looked annoyed that I’d entered the shop and said with a sigh, “guess I’ll have to call you back.” I got Jim’s last shirt out of there and never went back. For nearly two years I’ve gone to a better shop, even better located next to our mail. When I walk in, Jim’s clean shirts are already hanging on the rack and both attendants say “Hello, Miss Dee!” Recently their machine ate one of Jim’s shirts. I filled out a claim form, and they put a credit on my account immediately for the full amount so now I get free shirts! For a few weeks, anyway.
I feel for the clerks here, not so much waiters as they get tips. My “entitlement theory” of rich vacationers believing they’re above all others reigns supreme here in the mountains and the people who get paid the least (Wal Mart workers, drycleaner staff et al) get treated badly quite often. I worked in a resort community in college and know what they go through so try to make interactions pleasant, especially when I’m a regular customer.
Customer service can make or break a business. Even in the chi chi resort towns they recognize the locals and we’re mainly treated with respect as they need us the other six months of the year. I’m NOT a shopper but even in the tony shops we’re treated well. Granted we don’t go into most galleries as we’re not really looking for expensive art. But I know what it’s like to be snubbed in a high-end kitchen store. I knew more than any of their people and wanted a second job for the holidays so asked for an application. No, I was not blond, page-boyed and fake. I was a cook. No way they wanted anyone like me in there! And I was a regular customer!!!
For those of you providing excellent customer service, keep it up. You’re few and far between. To those who are not, set a good example for your staff and teach manners if their parents have not done their job in that regard. Cheers! Dee