Focus on the Customer

A colleague from the local chamber of commerce shared this story. She purchased a Kindle Fire from a local electronics retailer as a Christmas present for her daughter, but found it to be inoperative right out of the box. Upon returning to the store with her daughter and waiting in the long customer service line, my colleague stepped to the counter to advise the store employee of her dilemma. While speaking with the employee, she noticed that she did not have his undivided attention. He was texting while attempting to address her issue! When asked to look my colleague in the eye as she spoke, the employee advised her that he was “multi-tasking” and continued to text! I guess you all know what happened after that comment.  The Kindle Fire along with the service agreement were returned on the spot. My colleague gave her daughter her phone and advised her to order another Kindle Fire via Amazon.

Customers deserve your full attention when visiting your business, whether in person , via the phone (yes, it is noticeable when you’re preoccupied while on the phone) or via chat. This ordeal is easily preventable just by exercising common courtesy. Employees should be trained to give customers their undivided attention throughout the service interaction. If other customers are waiting, by all means acknowledge their presence, but give the customer in front of you your undivided attention.   Utilization of one’s cell phone while on duty and especially when servicing a customer is not a good practice if you really want your customers to feel valued. Customers should be made to feel that they are important as they have multiple purchasing options available as my colleague demonstrated by advising her daughter to order another Kindle Fire online.  The fact that additional items, specifically a new laptop, were purchased as Christmas gifts along with the Kindle Fire from this retailer probably fueled my colleague’s decision to not only return the inoperative device, but to vow to not make future purchases from this store. A dose of common courtesy from the original store may have insured her return for a new PC and monitor which were purchased from – you guessed it – another retailer.   I wonder how many other people were told about this incident? I wonder if that employee is still “multi-tasking”?

5 thoughts on “Focus on the Customer”

  1. This is a good point here Errol, sadly, i believe it is throught training and reinforcement that these bad work habits can be eliminated. They are now ticketing drivers caught texting $150 dollars, i feel the same rule should be applied to employess doing the same during work hours, or if in a business where you attend to local customers who just walk in to buy for service. Texting while providing support to a customer is not multi-tasking, it is an interuption in service.

    1. I agree, our focus and main objective should always be to focus on the customer in front of us.
      Texting can be counter-productive.

  2. I agree with Miguel, there is not much time spent on training people these days. Most of the training is on the job which involves more about the systems/Programs used rather than the Customer Service. Also the use of all the smart phones should be limited to the breaks during work hours, I have of late noticed even Managers going through there phones during the meetings/presentations.

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