Customer Service 2010

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CUSTOMER: “Could I please get an extra screw or two for mounting the brackets that go with the sets of decorator shelves I just bought? One was missing last time and I wasted hours looking for an exact match.”

HARDWARE CLERK: “Sure, Honey, but they come in little six-packs, and it’ll cost you an extra buck and a half.”

OWNER/MANAGER (who overheard the exchange): “Give ’em the screw, Hazel!” (Then whispering to her: “The whole packet only costs us 75-cents and this man just spent $300 here!”).

The happy customer leaves with his free six-pack of screws.

OWNER/MANAGER: Listen Sweetheart, I appreciate you wanting to charge for all our products, but sometimes it’s best to just give people the little extras they ask for, as a courtesy…like the sample cheese and lunch meat slices at the deli. In this case, y’just give ’em the screw and he’ll remember us longer; he’ll send his friends; and he’ll come back again. And, then, maybe you get a raise.”

     Customer Service 2010 means standing on your head and tap dancing on the ceiling if it makes the customer happy! Does YOUR business sport hand prints on the floor and tread marks on the ceiling? Why not?

     What possesses business owners and managers to add “Handling” fees to shipping costs? Isn’t handling part of the job people are paid for… to get merchandise from inventory, and then wrap and ship it?

     And, by the way, why is this service added to the purchase cost and charged separately? And why’s it always a whacked out amount? A $19.95 item I bought recently had $6.95 added for “S&H” so the under-$20 product ended up a dime short of $27! I sent it back.

     I thought car dealers were struggling. So why do only luxury car dealers pick up and drop off cars to be serviced, and go the extra mile to wash the car before returning it after servicing?

     What right do restaurants have to decide what tipping percentage to charge for parties of six or more? If service is lousy, the percentage is the same as if it’s great? Is it just me or do other people believe you should tip routinely for routine service and exceptional for exceptional service? If the party of 8 or 10 or whatever is going to produce X dollars for a foodservice person regardless of whether she or he rates a 1 or a 10, why should the person care?

     “Slop that food on the table, Mable, and don’t waste time being nice; you’re gonna get paid the same regardless. Spend your energy instead with those four old men trying to impress one another; You’ll get more tips out of them if you kiss up enough!”

Does your business give customers the screw?

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