When I was in high school I had the glamourous job of working at a fast food joint: you might remember me as the infamous Burger Kim, star employee at Burger King. The one point that my training really hammered into me was, “The Customer is Always Right”. Basically, it doesn’t matter if they said one thing two minutes ago: if they are asking for something different now, they’re right and you need to do what they ask. Keep them happy. Aside from working with a bunch of losers (I’m being kind here, believe me *cough* BROCK….) I really enjoyed working there. I know that for many it’s just a Whopper J with cheese and coke, but to me it was fun. If I could make someone’s day a little better by listening to them, getting their order right (or making it right if someone else screwed it up), and doing it with a smile, my job had been done. And it felt good. Something as small as, “here’s a free package of Cini-Minis since your order took so long” went a long way to soothe an angry person waiting five extra minutes in the drive-thru. Or how about re-making someone’s burger if it wasn’t made correctly, instead of just trying to wipe off the excess gallon of mustard (hello genius at Wendy’s…).
What I’m trying to get at here is that when you work in the service industry, it’s imperative that you listen to your customer and give them what they want.
Do you know what I’m sick of? People not listening to me and giving me what I want! Okay, so what is with the clothing store that has a return policy of, “No returns, exchanges or store credit only on unworn and unwashed items within 10 days.” No refunds? 10 DAYS?? But what if that tank top you promised was a miracle worker and wouldn’t ride up over my big pregnant belly does ride up? Tough luck. Or what’s with the shoe store that won’t let me exchange a pair of shoes I bought a month ago (unworn, and the shoe is still in stock) for a different style of shoe? I tried to explain to the salesgirl, “You still stock the shoe, I’m going to pay extra for the shoes I want to exchange for, so why can’t you do the exchange?” Well I’m over the 15 day exchange period, so she’d get in trouble if she did it. “But you still stock the shoe and I’m willing to pay MORE.” She hears what I’m saying, but she’d get in trouble so she can’t. Obviously she doesn’t hear what I’m saying, otherwise she’d realize she’s being a complete goofball.
Honestly. Is it so much to expect that someone would want to make your experience as a customer a good one? Don’t they want you to come back? To recommend them to other people? Is it so much to expect that I be handed my coffee and donut with a smile if they have the nerve to say, “Have a nice day” to me?
“Have a nice day” *scowl*. Oh that’s right, The Customer Is Always Wrong.