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Customer Service 101

July 15, 2010

Since getting engaged, I’ve been exposed to a whole new world in customer service what with ring maintenance, wedding dress shopping, and venue procuring.

I’m convinced that the only people who know good customer service are regular people.  And Nordstrom, I guess (obliged to say that since I worked for them and yes, it really is their #1 priority, internally too).

When my fiancee first proposed, he surprised me with this sucker:

It’s gorgeous. I love it. Sadly, during the first two weeks of wear, two of the pave stones fell clean out. So, I went back to Macy’s with him, where he bought it, and asked them to return it. Macy’s salespeople aren’t tremendously helpful as a rule, but a glum looking salesperson exchanged it for the same thing, and I bought the service policy.

About two weeks later, I was driving down some bumpy roads and heard something jangling. Turns out it was the center stone of my ring, loose. More pissed than ever (especially since this ring is supposed to last me forever) I went back to the Macy’s counter but held my anger inside because I know firsthand that angry customers do not get quicker or better service. They just make everyone else angry, too.

When I got there, it was pretty much the same routine. I felt like an interviewer, asking how long they estimated it would take, where does the ring go, do they get status updates so is it worth calling and checking in? among other things. The salesman had the same glum expression the entire time, from the moment I walked in and asked if there was a specific service department person I needed to talk to. Just blank-faced and slightly irritated from the get-go.

Wedding dresses are another story. In those hellholes you have to practically tell whoever is helping you to please let you make up your own mind. I went to three separate bridal salons and got three equally fake cheery saleswomen telling me I HAD FOUND IT! THIS IS IT! when clearly the expression on my face said otherwise (also known as my “Bitch, Please” face). They must make a commission because no one is that cheery. And also, who does that serve? If you pressure someone into buying something, the chances are pretty high that it will get returned, and the person won’t return for fear of pushy salespeople. Trust, I know this.

The one woman that was actually enjoyable to shop with was a girl who only worked at the shop once a month, and was planning her own wedding as well. She knew the merchandise and could help suggest things, was easy to talk to, but left me the hell alone with my friends, which is exactly what I wanted.

So what does that say? The best customer service people have knowledge; they also have the tact and people skills to know when to back off. They don’t tell you what you need – they ask you what need, and they listen. Then, they find it for you on sale, or they find something you didn’t even know you wanted.

Now if I could just get my ring back in less than a week. 😦

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 15, 2010 4:30 am

    Great Blog post. I am going to bookmark and read more often. I love the Blog template if you need any assistance customizing it let me know!

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