Thursday, 20 January 2011

Customer Service

Last Wednesday saw the start of the new serious, Mary Portas: Secret Shopper on Channel 4. That particular episode saw her take on the High Street, including shops like Primark, H&M, Zara & Pilot in an attempt to discover which stores offered good customer service and what changes could be made to improve it. (For those of you that missed it you can find it here)

Over the last couple of weeks I've been trying to find work in retail so I've noticed more and more of the customer service being offered on the high street.
Here are few of by observations:

Thumbs Up:
Oasis - After noticing an advert in the window for a Sales Advisor I skipped on in and asked to speak to the manager about it. The manager was more than happy to take time out to talk to me about the job. I then skipped back out of the store dreaming about working there with such lovely people!
Urban Decay - Normally I avoid MUA's because I feel like they're judging me but this particular guy was so lovely! I went in to see if they had any more Naked Pallets (they did! Apparently they've been into permanent stock!) and this guy was so helpful in telling me what colours would suit me more and what sort of looks I could create with it. He made me feel so comfortable, I felt like we had been friends for years! Most importantly, he made me leave with a smile on my face.

Thumbs Down:
Ted Baker Again, I'd seen an advert for a Sales Advisor and gone in to hand a C.V to the Manager. Firstly, I was waiting ages at the till for someone to come over and speak to me as they were all busy having a chat. The girl that did come over, rung her manager who told her to deal with me because she was too busy. So the girl asked me if I had any retail experience and when I said no she said 'what you applying here for then' while another member of staff laughed. If they're looking for someone with experience, fine, but there was no need to be so rude. I will never set foot in there again.
H&M Normally their queues are ridiculous but one day last week I popped in first thing in the morning and the store was dead yet me and one other customer had to wait for someone to notice us, I was just about to put everything back and leave when someone did come over. I wish I had of left because he didn't look at me and all he said was the price. What happened to service with a smile, eh?

I start my first job in retail next week and I'd like to think providing good customer service will not be a problem for me as I'm naturally a happy, polite and helpful person. I actually got the job due to my approach to customer service. Surely companies should be hiring more staff with this sort of view rather than based on how they look/dress (I'm looking at you Topshop).
At the end of the day isn't it a basic rule to treat others how would you like to be treated?

How important is customer service to you? Does it bother you enough to influence where you shop or what you buy?

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