Remember the days you would walk into a store, any store, and a smiling face greeted you in some fashion - "Good Morning." "Good Afternoon." "How are you today?" "How can we help you?" - or some other polite form of salutation? I know there are places out there where store personnel still employ this old fashioned method of customer contact, but they seem few and far between. Take my recent experience for example.
When search for something at our local variety store the other day, you know the one that has everything from groceries to gardening to automotive to clothing, (no not Wal#&*% but that ilk) I looked for a clerk to direct me so I didn't have to spend half an hour running up and down every aisle until the hidden jewel revealed itself. I swear to Goddess that clerks in this store are hired because they have customer radar that pings as we approach so they can run away and hide. "Excuse me, miss, but can you tell me where the (Ping! Ahh Ooo Gahh - customer approaching - DIVE! DIVE) is?" Gone. Dove under the pile of brightly colored, flower print pillows. Another potential sale and customer contact averted.
So that is how it goes at my store. Customer service is dead....or at least it is dying. It's no longer "How can I help you", but "Run away! Run away!" Like a Monty Python movie without the clippity clop of coconuts husks.
Now, mind you, there are stores you go into and the clerks/sales people are on you like stink on Detroit (I kid you Detroiters out there) and that is no doubt the difference between hourly rate employees and commissioned sales people. Some of the latter see you as dollar signs, not human beings. What I want to know is what ever happened to a smile, a nod, an acknowledgement and just a tad bit of help? Something in between an all out blitzkrieg and a French army retreat.
Are all retail employees anti social these days? Is customer service dead? All I want is to feel welcomed, get some occasional help and for someone to be just a little gracious that I have entered their place of business to spend my hard earned money. Treat me like I have feelings and real warm blood pumping through my veins. I'm a human being. We all like to be treated with respect and courtesy.
So, hey retail world, what do you say? Roll back the clock and try to smile the next time a customer approaches.