Tuesday, December 7, 2010
To be honest, this break in behavior was not so much a function of any new found organizational skills, or strange awakening of my more feminine side, but rather driven by two basic needs, those being:
1. The need to save time and money - The Bay (a large Canadian department store where those of us who dislike shopping can get most of the things on our list in relatively short order) was having a '2 Day Only Storewide Sale'
2. The need to gather some fresh material for what has become a long overdue service experience related blog article. Where did the last month go?
So this past Saturday I left the house early, list in hand and fully expecting to gather most of what was on it as well as at least one or two less than positive customer experiences to rant about. I knew, what with the sale and all, the customer service staff at The Bay would be under a great deal of pressure. Surely, someone would slip up and give me the story I needed.
After only an hour or two, I had managed to get just about everything on my list, but try as I may, I could not come up with a single negative service experience. I had dealt with at least 10 different employees and much to my dismay, every single one of them was annoyingly friendly and helpful, even when I played the role of the difficult, if not stupid male shopper. This by-the-way is something I do very well.
Knowing I was getting absolutely nowhere on the blog material gathering front, I eventually left The Bay and ventured into the adjacent mall where multiple high end specialty stores were competing viciously for the attention and dollars of the far more discriminating and knowledgeable than I, female shoppers. Like most of its kind, this mall is anything but a male friendly environment.
Desperately, I spent the next hour wandering through several shops where I clearly did not belong, asking silly questions and generally being a pain. But even there, I came up short. In fact, one shop owner, when asked one of my particularly silly questions, went as far as to cheerfully educate me on the proper use and care of a product she had on hand, even though I'd admitted to having bought mine elsewhere.
I suspect most people would consider what I went through a pretty good day of shopping, but given that I take great pleasure in spotting, writing about and addressing customer service issues (not to mention the fact that this is part of what I do for a living) I found the whole experience very disconcerting.
Could it be the world has at long last awakened to the magic of friendly service? Is this the end for Wavemaker Blogs?
I dare not go back out and face the mobs to get my answer; so in case you haven't already guessed, all I want for Christmas is some assurance this is not the case. Please, please do tell us about your Christmas shopping experiences, be they good or bad (albeit those of latter variety would be far more comforting).
Here’s wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
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We Want You Be Happy: The following photo was submitted as part of a comment on this article from Steve Tait (see comment 2 below) but for technical reasons could not be included in the comment.
Gotta love it!