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Poor Customer Service in Retail: Worst Things to Avoid

Poor Customer Service in Retail: Worst Things to Avoid

Asking a complaining customer to wait is different from another who is just asking for confirmation. Take it or not, poor customer service is when confusion interferes in between what is urgent and what is important or both at once.

Customer service handling process

A customer bought airtime in the store and for some reason he was not able to load it into a phone. Later he decided to go back to where he purchased it

Then a senior manager took the voucher to contact the service provider so as to fix the problem. Unfortunately there was no direct line to get hold of any consultant, except to follow the telephone prompt. It eventually took the customer more than 40 minutes of waiting without solution. But for just 10 minutes elapsed, already the customer was boiling with anger. After holding on for 40 minutes, the situation got worse upon realizing that they could not refund or alternatively replace the printed voucher, because a supermarket is just a third party vendor. The customer got so upset and refused to bear with them. Finally they had to refund him to avoid scandal because he was now creating a scene.

Post customer service handling process

Regrettably the above case scenario has resulted in poor customer service for two reasons. First, for failing to handle successfully a dissatisfied customer, even though it was not the store’s fault. Second, the management failed again to act responsibly and present faster alternative solutions to escape embarrassing situations.

Retail experience

Customer service starts from the moment articles are displayed on the shelves by merchandisers. For customers care a lot about the presentation of products in terms of neatness, cleanness, health and safety. Besides that, service departments (bakery, butchery, fruit & veg and all prepared food) have to strive producing results to meet customers’ expectations.

Poor customer service

The following issues below demonstrate that there are serious concerns in retail customer service:

  • Service department staffs:

Almost half of service department workers do not know how to assist customers. Each time there is an encounter that involves helping customers outside their comfort zone, they show tendency of panicking. As a result customers get irritated when the person in front of them cannot provide any form of answers.

  • Merchandisers:

First and for most, merchandisers are in store’s salesmen. Nevertheless, among all merchandisers you still find others that have nerves to give negative replies to customers. “That’s not my job” This mostly happen if helping will take the merchandiser to move from his or her section.

  • Cashiers and packers:

Cashiers and packers will never stop telling each other private stories even when a customer pops up at the till. They hardly greet or smile. Funny enough these are the very same people that give negative attitude to customers too.

  • Administration staffs:

Employees whose workstation is separate from the customer interactions forget sometimes customer service manners. It is easy for them to drop a customer in enquiring and pass him or her onto any nearby staff member.

  • Management:

Terrible customer experience is actually a reality in various reputable and big supermarkets due to buyers’ criticism. Furthermore, the impression which is now becoming noticeable to the public, indicates that the management is not interested to fix the mess caused by retailer’s employees. Not even shy to look in customer faces and say: “I will address it”. While nothing happens at the back of customers. Countless customers have wounds of disappointment. It so sad that the rate of disappointed customers is growing and it appears like the management body is careless.

Therefore, I totally disagree that poor customer service is neither a result of lack of appropriate skills nor negligence. Nonetheless the internal and secret philosophy driving the whole all business system might be the cause.

Poor Customer Service in Retail: Worst Things to Avoid
Poor Customer Service in Retail: Worst Things to Avoid

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