This morning Moo-Z Brothers in Sandringham (a dairy-based Kosher food deli) gave me some pretty lousy service and represented some pretty common customer service shockers we see each day. I wasn’t assaulted or sworn at but the service I received reflects poorly on the store and leaves a pretty bad taste for what is otherwise terrific food.
I arrived at the store just after 9:30 to collect two platters my wife ordered for our son’s birthday party around the corner at the Jabula Recreation Center (where the staff were amazing). I went to the one counter and asked one of two people doing some food preparation where I could get the platters my wife ordered. The woman I spoke to asked for the name and then spoke to the other person, a man, in one of the many local languages I don’t understand; didn’t bother to give me feedback and took the time to yawn at me before the man said the platters were ready and needed to be wrapped.
He took them to the counters by the till and wrapped them in plastic and went back to whatever he was doing before. I stood there in front of two cashiers chatting amongst themselves waiting for someone to give me an indication whether I could just take the platters, needed to pay for them or sing a song first. After being ignored for a minute or two I asked the cashier which of the options she preferred and she rudely told me to pay, which I did. She then went back to her conversation (and ignoring me) without any suggestion of help carrying the two platters to my car. Fortunately they weren’t too big so I just picked them up and took them to my car.
As good as the food is, I left there feeling really annoyed. If this is how the staff treats customers generally, they’re lucky they service such a relatively captive market (the religious Jewish community which buys Kosher food or people who cater for them) or there would be little reason to tolerate this behaviour. All the staff needed to do was a couple simple things (and this is a remarkably common issue in retail locally):
- When a customer walks in and seems to need help, offer it;
- When a customer asks a question, answer it;
- Don’t yawn at the customer and pretend to be engaged (better yet, actually be engaged and interested);
- When items need to be paid for, ring them up and give an indication of this need for the items to be paid for (don’t carry on with your conversation hoping the mystified customer will divine the next step and make the appropriate tender);
- If it looks like the customer may need some help carrying stuff, make the offer.
The lousy service at Moo-Z this morning is typical in many retail stores. Sales people are often disinterested, disengaged and downright rude. No wonder customers get pissed off and express that when dealing with these sales people.
In contrast, when I arrived at Jabula the woman in charge came out to help me carry stuff in. The guy there to help set up stopped what he was doing to help me too. They took a few minutes to be helpful even though they didn’t need to be and that made a big difference to my experience.