I was thinking back to a post I wrote in Feb of '08 about a freakishly bad customer service incident I witnessed at a big retail chain store. It got me thinking about whether sellers both online and off are 'freshening up' their customer service or just hoping the recession will end so they can go back to mistreating the customer.
Read the post below and see where you fall on the customer satisfaction scale. Although I hope that kind of thinking has been squashed by the economy, I'm not so sure. What do you think?
Feb '08 post: I saw a very interesting customer service interaction in a major chain store the other day that I have to share. The woman ahead of me bought many items. The clerk handed her back a small shopping bag with all the items unappealingly squeezed in—almost bursting the bag.
When the woman asked for a larger bag, the clerk refused saying, Sorry I can only give you a bag that fits your items with no space or I could lose my job. The woman became annoyed (as I would have) and said, 'If I give you $5 dollars can I have a bigger bag?' At that point everyone in line joined the conversation and a larger bag was finally supplied.
When it was my turn, I asked the clerk why she could lose her job. She said the store was having theft problems and the way she was instructed to deal with it was to make sure that bags had no room to stuff extra merchandise.
Hmm, well that's one way to handle it—punish the customers who buy a lot. Make sure to think through your solutions to service problems, lest they have the opposite effect.