Monday, May 11, 2009

an annoyed shopper

I just spent the day with one of my favourite people - my Mom's dear sister, my Aunt Mary Jane. She looks and acts just like my Mom. (for those of you who don't know or remember, my Mom died about 2 years ago).

Well, my Aunt MJ and I went shopped all day today, throughout several fabulous stores. Of course, we had to make several purchases, especially at Anthropologie, which just happened to be one of Mom's favourite places, and subsequently mine as well. We received such pleasant customer service at every place we went. Except one.

While I was shopping at the Dillard's department store in the St. John's Town Centre, I was in the men's department for approximately 12-15 minutes. I walked through the Ted Baker section, the Calvin Klein section, and the Hugo Boss section. I passed through the shoe department, suiting, and even stopped to use the toilet. After all of that time, none of the associates once even acknowledged me, except Brian, one of the gentleman who's helped me many times before - but he was already with a customer. He did say hello and told me if I needed anything that he'd be happy to help when he was able - very professional and courteous. However, there was an older Asian gentleman, Mauricio or something, who was standing in the middle of the walkway like some sort of traffic cop, and without smiling, talking, or any ounce of friendly nature says quite loudly "what are you looking for?!"...I mean stern, unprofessional, and quite honestly - rude. I simply told him "nothing"...and kept walking. A few feet away, I heard him say to two other gentleman "can I help you" very loudly - and they seriously just stopped where they were looking and walked out of the store.

What ever happened to old school customer service? How about a simple "hello" or "how are you today" or "welcome to the store" before you dive in to your lacklustre sales pitch. In this economy, stores can't afford underwhelming efforts by their associates. No wonder half the store seemed to be on clearance.

On another note, it's stores like Anthropologie and Cole Haan, in the very same plaza, who continue to win my business through positive, professional customer service and genuine, punctual assistance.

So I encourage you, my friends and fellow shoppers, that the next time you experience subpar customer service, politely inform the manager or corporate offices of your experience. This is simply unacceptable.

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