Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful for Good Service

Shopping is an activity that I usually enjoy, although the closer it gets to the holidays, the less my enthusiasm for being surrounded by hundreds of others searching for the "perfect" gift. Of course I love a good bargain, but good service can really go a long way toward making or breaking the shopping adventure.

One summer in college I worked retail, and if I hadn't already been determined to finish college and pursue a career in something other than retail, that summer certainly clenched it. Working retail is very stressful, and I can only imagine that the holidays multiply that stress tenfold. Particularly in this economy, when customers are spending less, retailers are declaring bankruptcy, stores are closing and workers are being laid off (leaving the remaining workers to pull longer shifts), I am sure that working in retail is not the most pleasant job experience right now.

Our city is not exactly renowned for great customer service, so it's somewhat of a surprise when I encounter a particularly friendly or helpful worker. This past Saturday, I was shopping at Marshall's and the dressing room attendant was extremely friendly. In my experience, unless I'm shopping at a store where the sales associates are working on commission, most dressing room attendants seem less than thrilled to be there. Sometimes they don't bother to say anything, just grunt a little as they thrust a number card my way. I am pleased to report that that was not the case at Marshall's. The attendant greeted me warmly with a huge smile and seemed downright glad to be at work that morning. I left feeling like I'd been well taken care of and glad that I had shopped there.

Unfortunately, I failed to get her name, but I plan to write a letter to her manager commending her for such excellent service. The experience is also challenging me to improve upon my own service to others (particularly at work), to not only do what's expected but to go above and beyond, and to do it in a friendly way that says I'm thankful to work there. Furthermore, I'm challenged to be more caring and compassionate toward those who serve me, especially during the holidays. My being friendly to a worn out salesperson could be a much needed lift in the midst of a frustrating day.

Let me challenge you as well to catch people--whether in a store, at your own place of work, or at home--doing something good and commend them for it.

1 comment:

Kelley said...

Dumb me, I got a degree in retail! Fashion Merchandising! Craziness!
Thankfully I can use the marketing end of my degree for my photog business.

You are right. Nice words help. Our retail friends are living on the edge of madness during this time of year and considering the economic slump they are likely being pressured with sales numbers. Some "be ye kind" words would go a long way to helping them feel better.