On Saturday I went into a shop to buy some ham and the person behind the counter was pre-occupied with her gloves as I waited to be served. I waited. And I waited And still she continued to fiddle with her gloves. I started to become impatient.
She did see me but she did not look up or acknowledge my presence, which I found annoying. I was wondering how this small business was going to survive if this was the standard of customer service. Or the lack of customer service!
I didn’t complain while I waited in this convenience store, which I found was inconvient as far as my time was concerned. All I wanted was to be served, grab my ham, get home and make my lunch as I had several other things planned to do for the day.
Finally she looked up and apologised and then she slowly sliced the ham, slowly wrapped it up in paper and slowly handed over my packaged ham.
And before she could say ‘would you like anything else’ I sprinted to the cashier, payed for my ham and hurried out. I wasn’t going to take the chance of wasting any more of my Saturday morning waiting to be served again.
Here’s what she should have done to provide me with customer service
- Look up
- Acknowledge my presence with a nod or a greeting
- Let me know she would serve me as soon as she could
If she had done these things I would have accepted the delay without feeling like I was being ignored.
And being ignored is the worst customer service you can get.
Footnote: For other customer service stories check out our ebook How To Lose Customers Without Really Trying – The A-Z Guide