Sunday, July 02, 2006

Customer Service heaven and hell

I'm at Target at White Bridge Road today, looking for patio furniture that was on sale. The clerk on the floor knows what Mrs. Wonderdawg and I are talking about since the item was moved during the remodeling of the store.

After searching the store, the units are nowhere to be found. The rep gets on the line with another store, and says I can give you a call when two units come in later at 7 pm. Fair enough!

So we're eating dinner and I get a message that the patio furniture has arrived at 6:30 pm. The message said all we have to do is to visit the customer service department to claim the item - (they will hold the item for 24 hours); gave us the store hours and thanked us for shopping at Target.

So we head over to the store and just as we are parking, my daughter sees a motorcycle fly out of a parking spot and wacks the rear end of a SUV, sending the driver flying into the back of the car, shaken up with the bike pinned underneath the right corner of the bent bumper. Apparently, the bike was in gear when started which sent the driver flying in the air like Evil Knievel. But he's alright considering he didn't have a helmet on!

Then we go inside after help arrives for the cyclist and at the customer service desk, some guy is just laying into the rep there. As part of the audience, I gathering that he's looking for a desk and didn't want to wait or go driving to another store to go get it. The rep is patiently giving him options and apparently he wasn't a good listener, as he starts going into the fact that he's a "consultant", and the ideas she was suggesting bordered on stupidity.

"I want to speak to the manager!"

"I am the manager."

Staying claim, she said if you want to settle down we can resolve this to your satisfaction. Whether it did or not, since we saw him leave and come back later, our service was pretty darn good.

I think God gave us an opportunity to be the ying to whatever demon was yanking this "consultant"'s yang...

The patio furniture was retrieved, we got a chance to open the box, look inside, pay for it at the counter and had help loading it. I did ask the manager why she didn't whack the guy on the head with the red phone! I think she was ok about it, saying something to the effect that people just don't have to be that way... in this guy's case, being a consultant, a unknown source says "Some consultants are like the bottom half of a double boiler: They get all heated up but don't know what's cooking."

Some perspectives:

Demonizing the Customer
"Some Company Help Staffs Disdain the People They Serve" - Don Oldenburg writes about a bizarre Comcast story. (slogan: "The customer is never right!") where "frontline retail types" tell their horror stories.

Are you a bad customer?

The Art of Sucking Down or, why you should treat people with a modicum of respect. by Guy Kawasaki

1 comment:

SistaSmiff said...

I'm surprised you didn't whip out your camera and I so wish you would have!

When I do get that digital camera, it will be nothing but snapshots of oddities.