Hire Rajesh V. , a brainy Consultant from Chennai, India | Expertbase

Getting Better Service

Quick Summary

We all as customers expect very good customer service. The question is, how many of us deserve good customer service?
Retail
50
3 min
484 Words
3.15 K
Internationally we (Indians) are known to be rude, aggressive, tip poorly, treat staff like personal servants and then complain about poor service.

I had a friend who was an air hostess with Air India and once we had a debate about why Indian fliers were treated poorly while foreigners would be helped, smiled at and so on. She stumped with a single line. She said "Without fail most foreigners would say please and thank you, while most Indian fliers would demand whatever they wanted". That set me thinking and I started observing if we as a consumer class are really so bad.

Retail chains were a good place to observe this phenomenon, especially since they talk so much about customer service and customer delight. I noticed that most chains have instructed and trained their staff to smile, wish ask if any help is required. Most staff did smile and wish, while most customers would either look past them or be mildly irritated.

One day I commented to one such staff member that this must be one of the easier parts of their job. Smile and wish. She said "No sir, this is actually not so easy. A few customers smile back at us. Most just ignore us. I feel very bad when that happens." The staff became comfortable enough to share a few thoughts and it gave me a very different perspective.

These people come from poor economical backgrounds. Most of them use the bus or cycle to get to work. Their homes are not exactly the epitome of comfort and luxury. On top of all that they also have their personal problems and issues. In that context being cheerful, smiling and wishing is an effort. Doing it again and again when being ignored by many is an even bigger effort. Adding insult to injury are some misguided youngsters who use this as an excuse to make funny comments or remarks.

I resolved to remember this and make it a point to wish and smile back at staff, say please and thank you every time someone does a service. I am just being selfish. I am ensuring that this service staffs do not get so demoralized that they stop giving good service because no one acknowledges it and one day I stop getting good service.

A retail trivia – There is a customer service guideline called the 5 Feet rule. This was propounded by Sam Walton of Walmart and most retailers follow some variation of this. Every customer facing staff is required to smile and wish customers who come within 5 feet. How do they measure 5 feet? Simple, the floor tiles have a defined size and one needs to wish everyone within a particular number of tiles.

This article is part of a series, the author wrote for "The Hindu, Retail Plus".
This Article is authored / contributed by ▸ Rajesh V. who travels from Chennai, India. Rajesh is available for Professional Consulting Work both Virtually and In-Person. ▸ Enquire Now.

Your Comments

Your thoughts matter to others - more than you can imagine.

More Articles published by Rajesh

4 Free | Ad-Free | Full-Text Business Papers
More Articles written / submitted by Rajesh V.
Retail

Do You Have Eggs?

When the 'super' in supermarkets goes missing, they will do well to look at kirana stores for some lessons.
50   |   2.7 K   |   11 min
More Articles written / submitted by Rajesh V.
Retail

The Lure Of A Freebie!!

FREE! What a powerful word. Among the most used, recognized and acted upon words in the world. The power of free!
50   |   2.78 K   |   4 min
More Articles written / submitted by Rajesh V.
Retail

Seeing Red!

Using the color red to communicate offers and freebies is directly linked to its impact on us. In a manner of speaking bulls are not the only animals affected by a red flag!
50   |   3.02 K   |   3 min
More Articles written / submitted by Rajesh V.
Retail

The Power Of Change

Having or getting change has not been an issue as wide spread in the fast few years. However in the late 90's this was a major issue and has given lots ...
50   |   2.73 K   |   3 min

More 'Retail' Articles

6 more Articles that may interest you, too...
Steve S. : Retail Sector Rates Badly On Customer Service

Retail Sector Rates Badly On Customer Service

The Australian Customer Service Association has recently undertaken some extensive research across the country on the levels of service provided by various business sectors...
3.68 K   |   50
Rajesh V. : The Power Of Change

The Power Of Change

Having or getting change has not been an issue as wide spread in the fast few years. However in the late 90's this was a major issue and has given lots of headaches to retailers, especially the new organized chain stores.
2.73 K   |   50
Rajesh V. : The Lure Of A Freebie!!

The Lure Of A Freebie!!

FREE! What a powerful word. Among the most used, recognized and acted upon words in the world. The power of free!
2.78 K   |   50
Rajesh V. : Seeing Red!

Seeing Red!

Using the color red to communicate offers and freebies is directly linked to its impact on us. In a manner of speaking bulls are not the only animals affected by a red flag!
3.02 K   |   50
Rajesh V. : Do You Have Eggs?

Do You Have Eggs?

When the 'super' in supermarkets goes missing, they will do well to look at kirana stores for some lessons.
2.7 K   |   50
Martin Keith S. : The Retail Business Challenge

The Retail Business Challenge

The Retail Business Challenge encourages owners / managers and their teams to make a greater contribution to and in the business they are involved. For the purposes of this activity I would suggest that the "greater contribution" is for the customers and community in which they are located.
4.12 K   |   50
Back to top
50