Last night I happened to enter a shop 5 mins before its closing time. The shop was all lighted up and in its entire splendor. I was quite inquisitive and impressed about the décor and the wares that the shop had and boy was I depressed when I left 5 mins later.
The sales lady seemed a little perturbed by the ‘unwarranted’ entrance and she proceeded to call a friend of hers upstairs in decibel levels fit for an open air convention. Although she seemed attentive to my questions she seemed to be done with her days work and wanted to head home. After giving instructions to all the staff members and telling one of them to pull the shutter of the shop (I am still looking around and chatting) she was determined to bring it to my attention that time was up! She proceeded to tell me that it was closing time and the shop needed to be closed. I asked her ‘politely’ about the shop timings and left.
Although I felt practically ‘thrown out’ of the shop, I was wondering if it was worth telling this sales lady her mistake? She ‘told’ a prospective customer to ‘leave the shop’ because she had to close shop. I am assuming that was not even remotely the case. However, I am sure she had her reasons. Valid or not.
So what does world-class customer service look like? At a recent trip to a tourist destination, I happened to closely observe Filipino/Indian customer service at international brands. I was ‘shocked’ to find the following:
- They greet you at the entrance of the shop. Whether you are window shopping or actually purchasing. In a department store if you go from one department to another you will find the sales personnel greeting you if they pass you.
- Customer service only helps you. They don’t ‘tail’ you. They let you shop in peace, pick up and try whatever you want. After all shopping has become an experience and they let you experience it. Tailing a shopper as if they will run away with the merchandise is not a thing!
- The last shoppers shop until they are done. No one tells them to ‘leave’. Not only is it against common courtesy, it also harms brand image. The last sales people can stay a few minutes. If a brand has strict timing, the sales person tells the shoppers with a smile instead of creating a commotion.
- Most sales people make an effort to sell stuff. Most brands have sales people who initiate conversation and help people find the best fit. If you are tailing people then this might be a good way to increase your sales. It’s just awkward otherwise.
- They avoid fighting and quarreling among themselves. To all the places I have been, even if they disagree they will never start a fight club. So far I have yet to see a local brand that culls the core nature of its sales staff – the want to one up one another; loudly!
Customer service plus sales is still an evolving field in the local arena. Hopefully there will be a time when we can have the best service in malls and people will be much more pleasant. Not everyone is a people person. Stop hiring because you need a pretty face or a person who will take on a low paying job.
The brand name is not mentioned to avoid any possible social wars 😉
The inverted commas were used to stress on the words and also to create a sarcastic tone.