Customer courtesy is becoming a lost art at some businesses

Customer courtesy is becoming a lost art at some businesses

Customer service can make or break a shopper's retail experience, and business owners should take note.

A few weeks ago, I went to a local business to pick up an item.  As I walked up to the receptionist’s counter at the front of the business, a young lady was writing some information onto a form at her desk.  I noticed as I walked up the digital clock on the counter ticked away from 10:59 to 11:00 just as I arrived.

I silently waited for the receptionist to acknowledge my arrival, but she didn’t raise her head from her work.  The digital clock had passed 11:04 before she stopped writing and looked at me with a smile and said, “How may I help you?”

I didn’t expect her to drop everything and rush out from behind the counter to embrace me and welcome me to the establishment, but a simple glance and a “I’ll be right with you” could have made my experience much more pleasant.

I know you are saying, what is four minutes out of your day, but when you are just standing and waiting, four minutes is a long silent pause.  If you don’t believe me, glance at your watch and wait four minutes before reading the next paragraph.  I will wait.

See, it is quite a while to stand in awkward silence.  Not to mention that during the time I was waiting, two other employees of the business made their way through the area in which I was standing, both made eye contact with me, but neither asked if I was being attended.

I completed my transaction and left the business, but the experience got me to thinking about how I was being treated at other businesses.  So I began to take note.

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