This job would be so much easier if it wasn’t for the customer!

I cannot wait until they raise the minimum wage!

I have a local store I go to a few times a month.  You may have been to one of these.  They’re the kind that has everything you need under one roof.  Their prices are lower than anyone else (so they say.)  They’ve “kicked out” all of the mom and pop stores in the surrounding area.  I’m not going to name this place, lets just say it’s a mart that has wal(ls) around it.

I’m not going to get into the good and bad of these stores.  They’re here to stay.  My problem with them is the employees that work there.  From my experience they don’t seem to care about the job.  By the job, I mean their customers.

On one recent visit I went in looking for…. something.  Not sure what and it doesn’t matter.  (Don’t you hate it when someone is telling a story and they forget a detail that is the least bit important.  They just go on and on trying to remember.)   One employee just about ran me over with her stock cart.  No excuse me, no apology, just a glare.  I felt like I was in her way!  I was in her path however I’m the customer.  I would hope she would at least say “pardon me sir would you mind if I pass through?”  Not one of us would say no.  Here’s a thought how about “Hello sir, are you finding everything ok?”

This job would be so much easier if it wasn’t for the customers!

640px-Wakool_Supermarket

This is not a single experience for me.  The guy mopping my feet at the bottle return.  Speaking of bottle returns, I hope you never have to look for help when they fill up. You can ask 100 people and find that it’s not their job.  I think they have one person for all the stores that runs back and forth to unload the bins. (Oh yeah! In Michigan, we get $.10 back for every bottle we return.  Part of keeping this fine state litter free.)  When asking someone “Do you know where I can find that widget you have on sale?”  you will find yourself set on a journey from one department to another.  Each turn brings a new riddle and path for your quest.  Most of the time ending up an aisle over from where you started.

Would it be so hard to treat your customers as just that, customers.

Customer: someone who buys goods or services from a business.

We the customers are here to buy your stuff.  In turn that money will then pay you!  If customers stop buying, you don’t have a job.   It’s that simple.  Why not view everybody that you come in contact with as just that?  I worked at one of these big box stores during college.  When I first started my boss was always getting upset with me not “doing my job.”  He came to find out that the reason I wasn’t stocking shelves or cleaning the counter was due to the fact I was helping customers.  People would come into my department and I asked if they needed help.  Most of the time, they did.  After a month the boss saw the numbers.  We had sold more that month than any of the previous. (Christmas music was not playing at that time either!)  He had the rest of the department doing the same as me in no time.  We felt better because we were helping people.  The store felt better (well they made more money, same thing.)

Now I get it.  This is most likely not the career most are looking for in life.  (I left that place just before the christmas rush.) I don’t think any of them are bad people.  Most are doing their “job” with as little work as possible.  I fear that raising the minimum wage will just pay people more without them earning it.

 Most are getting minimum wage, maybe minimum work is to be expected?

 I just think customer service should be job #1.  Without that, the rest of the job is worthless.  Imagine if these places adopted this work ethic.  Customers would be happier and spend more money.  In turn the business would make more and maybe pay higher wages to their employees.

I think we as consumers are partially to blame.  We accepted this as the norm.  When I was selling cars the most common response to “how can I help you?’ was “I’m just looking.”  It’s an automatic reply to defend from being sold something.  That’s why you are there, to buy something!  Why not have help from someone who knows the product you are trying to purchase.

A former boss made it very simple,

“Take care of the people first and the rest will fall into place.”

Let’s help this process out.  Next time you are visiting your local store and find someone who does a great job, thank them!  Go find their boss and pass on what a good job that person was doing.  Send in a good review to that company’s website.  It doesn’t take much time and may lead the shopping experience better in the future.  When you are at work remember why you are there.  Your job is there because of that customer, not in spite of them!

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