Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Customer Service This

For the past two and half years, I have been doing what I like to refer to as "field work." Some other people might prefer to call it, customer service. I was a recent college graduate who spent the summers creating memories, building friendships and strengthening bonds at summer camp, instead of getting my foot in the door through an internship. So when reality set in, I lacked the experience I needed on paper to get that face-to-face interview. I had a few interviews here and there, but mostly exploratory. So, I walked into the only place I would be able to walk to from my house and tolerate working at, a clothing store. The pickings were slim, fast-food restaurant, tanning salon, 7-11, so I picked the obvious choice.

I have since come to regret that decision. I thought I was walking into a temporary, part-time position. Two and a half years later, I am a key-holding manager whose tolerance for people, if you can call some of our customer's that, is drastically declining.

I go back and forth in my mind every day deciding whether or not I like my job. So when I was back on the "I am not tolerating this for a second longer" kick, someone very smart suggested starting a blog, so that is why I am here. I am looking for a place to rest my thoughts and re-tell the horrific stories of the people that I have to deal with in my profession of customer service. So my two and half years of "field experience" will hopefully pay off.

So I will leave you today with my absolute favorite story to date. Recently a customer came into our store carrying an old purse of ours, she had clearly been using it for a while. I checked on her on the floor to make sure she was finding everything she needed alright. She mentioned that she was looking for a small bag, I pointed her in the direction of where she might find them and without a real thanks she headed in that direction. She clearly missed that little life lesson of etiquette. Later I was at the register when she came up all set to buy a pair of pants and a belt, so I was about to ring her up when she said to me, "Oh and I wanted to return this," and she pointed to her purse. Dumbfounded, my response was, "The one that you are using?!?" She, without so much as a blink of the eye said yes. To keep with our company's policy, I asked if she had a receipt, I was absolutely certain the response would be a no and it would put an end to this nonsense. Oh no, she reached down into her clearly loved bag and pulled out a stack of receipts thicker than our catalogue and proceeded to point right to the correct receipt. To prolong this ridiculous request of hers I went to the back to check up the SKU on the receipt from October of 2005 to make sure it was correct, sure enough it was the correct receipt. By the time I had gotten back up there she had emptied out the contents of the bag she had been using for nearly six months. With the return we ended up owing her five cents, much to my dismay I put it back on discover card and sent her on her merry way. The moral of this story, at the store I work at you can gladly return something that you have obviously used for something more current as long as you have the receipt. Honestly, what in the world was this woman thinking, oh I'll just use the bag I want to return today and I hope they don't think it is weird when I dump out the contents of my bag on the counter and ask to return it?!?!?!

Well, this is just a starting point for my soapbox I like to call, "The customer is always right, except when their wrong."



Anonymous said...

That's just bizarre. On the subject of returning clearly used items, I know a manager at a clothing store who was asked to refund a pair of jeans. No problem, she had the receipt (and incidentally hadn't come into the store wearing them). However, when she left, the manager picked the jeans up to fold them, and (this is really gross), there was a HUGE blood stain in the crotch. Lovely. Great post! Thanks. :)

Saridoodle said...

Don't you guys have a 14 day return policy clearly printed and framed on your counter?? Poor Beccs!!!