Hello Everyone,

October 2015

I love October, not just because it is my birthday month but because the air changes, the season changes, the time changes.

It is when we must embrace the fact that the time change will have us seeing the dark sooner. A time when the trees begin to let loose the leaves, orange, brown and yellow leaves flying about.

It is the time when the ghouls and horrors are seen in decorations, shows, movies and parties.

It is the time when we say farewell to the summer heat, smile toward the cooler weather and wonder of the winter to come.

Happy October! May there be light within you to shine upon the earlier darker hours. May the ghouls and gremlins that ring the door bell make you smile and partake in trick or treat.

May you embrace the change in season knowing... it will bring us back to Spring soon enough.

I have added a tab - Whisper my words, which is a link to my site where I post stories, poems, AndMore events and the Watcher's Journal. Take a peek and enjoy.



October 13, 2013

AndMore...Too much Customer Service?

Is there such a thing as too much Customer Service?  I didn't think so.  Until....

I learned Customer Service from the best, one of the top retail stores.  Back in the day when you started in their corporate office you had to spend two weeks in a store.  A very humbling experience but one that allowed corp employees to remember how difficult store personnel had it.  The same company took Customer Service very serious.  The classes always ongoing.  You can't walk into their store without a constant mantra of 'Hello', 'Do you need a carriage', 'May I help you with anything' to just name a few.

Customers go into that store and feel privileged, cared for and able to walk out with not just the purchase they needed but guarantees as well.

But how much is too much?  Is there too much?  With all the stores that neglect customers and/or treat them badly, can it be possible to have too much Customer Service?

My 10+ year old alarm clock sounds off lately only when it feels like it.  If it weren't for my phone as a back up I would never wake up in time.  A wonderful 20% coupon arrived in the mail for a favorite store, I went online and viewed the selection of alarm clocks, favoring one I decided to go and get it at the store.

It was a terrible day, a bird died and fell next to my car, right by the door, I had to hop into the car and maneuver a bit to avoid running over it's lifeless body.  That was just a start.  I went to the mall where I scheduled a massage, my knee was buckling (old injury) and my back was worse, the pain unbearable.  I was also having issue with my balance.  I almost toppled over but caught myself and just dropped my purse instead as I was getting up a very tall man was swinging along a back pack.  He swung it right into my hair as I was straightening up from picking up my purse when I felt a painful tug.  It took him, his girlfriend and their son to get my hair untangled from it.  The whole time I was praying the pain in my back would subside.

The massage did little to help, I was hungry so I went to my favorite restaurant.  The service was quick for being seated, ordering and receiving the food.  I asked the perky waitress for more napkins.  I never saw her again.  Luckily I had some wipes in my purse.  An hour later she arrived, apparently they sat me off in a corner hardly noticeable and was forgotten.

Needless to say the last thing I wanted was to go back out shopping but I really needed the alarm clock.  I put on one of those icy hot patches for my back and headed out to the store about 5 miles from home.  The ride was long since it seems everyone in Jersey was heading to that plaza.

The task was simple, get the alarm clock, go to the cashier give the the coupon and go home.

The alarm clock was in a locked case which amused me since it wasn't really a large purchase not in size or monetary value.  The store was busy and seemed lacking in staff.  There was one person at the 'clock' section and he was assisting another customer that was having a hard time choosing an alarm clock.  She wanted one she could plug her iPhone into without spending the iPhone type of expense (*giggle*).  Twenty minutes later I realized that not only was the customer just dilly dallying along the conversation, the sales person was ignoring the ever growing line behind me for his assistance.

An additional 15 minutes later I noticed the icy hot patch was no longer working, if I intended on getting the clock, paying and walking across the Plaza parking lot, I would have to leave while the pain was just beginning.

The woman was hemming and hawing about the conspiracy of manufacturers and retail stores when the sales person looked toward me.  I said 'Excuse me, could you just unlock that case, I want the alarm right there in front.'.  He put his finger up in the universal language of - hold on, you insignificant, I am busy - gesture.

When I turned around I realized that I was the only one that had the patience to stand there.  The line was gone.  I noticed some people just left and a couple others continued to shop.  I left.  By the time I got to my car, I was in tears from the pain, frustration and the hatred for Extreme Customer Service.

The next day I went to another store to pick up an item I ordered and had arrived, imagine my surprise when I went to the clock section and saw they only had ONE of the model clock I wanted from the other store.  Unlocked, on a shelf and practically calling out to me.  I hobbled over with a smile that came from deep inside.  I grabbed that clock and when I went to Customer Service to pick up the ordered item I began to just tell the poor cashier the events of the other store.  She asked me what price it was at the other store and it was $4.00 cheaper without the coupon then the one in my hand.  But it was worth it after all.  The girl called the manager and related the events.  I ended up getting the clock at the price of the other store, with a 20% discount and I was able to use a 15% discount birthday certificate this particular store had sent to me (I could use it all month long, love those cards).

I hobbled to my car thinking, that was some great customer service.  Might I mention the cashier also took care of two others while I inspected my order, waited for the manager and whenever there was a pause, she would ask someone walking by 'are you finding everything ok?'.

Perhaps it isn't extreme customer service, perhaps it is a lack of multi-tasking for that particular sales person the day before.

Whatever the case is... I'm glad I got my clock, it's a shame that store missed a sale and I'm grateful in the end it worked out for the best.  But I find that I still wonder... is there such a thing as too much Customer Service?