Thanks for visiting my blog again this week. As you know, if you follow my little blog, I enjoy delving into the ups and downs of customer service wherever I go. I think it’s important people get what they pay for. One thing though that I have noticed is that customer service seems to be a truly dying art form. I’m not being dramatic about it! It’s just a fact from my ongoing experience. It’s not the real dinosaur however. It’s the big box store. Think about the last time you went into a huge box store like Sears or The Bay. We all know what is happening to many mega stores over the years. Eatons, gone. Zellers, gone. Sears, going! My prediction is that The Bay, God love ’em, is the next to fall in this retail ice age. Times are tough for the industry due to one major evolution; that ever growing critter “The Onliners” are quickly devouring the big box store in an unprecedented take over. Here’s what’s helping to assist this transformation. Less staff. Less and less staff. I walked through Sears and The Bay looking for some needed things and there was just nobody around. No staff to be found. Maybe for a whole floor I may have eventually noticed four or five staff. There was no help to be found. The Bay was even more alarming to me because they are not going into receivership. They are supposed to be doing very well. When I finally found someone they had no idea about the sales and there was a real disconnect. It’s no wonder shopping online is so alluring. If you’re not going to get any kind of customer service why drag yourself out there when you can get it sent straight to your home without the irritating brush off? So here’s the best part after that sad situation, when I got home the person had forgotten to take the security tag off my clothing so I had to go all the way back to the store to get them to remove it. Okay so I lied, here is the climax of a bad blow off. When I got back to the store, located at Fairview Mall in Toronto, the person that I tried explaining what happened, literally walked away in the middle of my story. I said “Hello” and the response I got, are you ready? “I don’t care!!!!” I don’t care!??? Can you even get your head around that? I was so shocked I literally fell speechless. She did remove the security tag which, of course I was thankful, being a dog in her midst to even receive that I’m sure she felt was plenty. I left the department and asked another sales associate I found on the other side of the store to please call me a manager. And again the fun began. “Why?”, he asked. I said, “I’d rather not get into it if you could call me a manager that would be great”. Again he pressed, “What for?” I’m now thinking, really? What is this? Believe it or not I’m sort of on the side of the salesperson. With companies cheating out on staff, people are being expected to work like monkeys. These few staff members are overwhelmed trying to take on the demands of the public. The public still thinks their shopping in the gay day of the 80’s when employees were four and five per area. Not today. One poor sucker is looking after a whole department on their own or sometimes even two or three departments. Nobody should have to be subjected to this while the manager is impossible to reach. Because she was! When she was finally located she attempted to dirty me into believing it was an inventory issue. What? She was a nice enough person but I was really just about getting real and I asked her if she felt whether she had enough people on to successfully run the floor? Seriously. There isn’t an excuse for over extending your team because you need to watch some budget so closely it is affecting the mental health of your employees. I’m seeing this more and more and at an alarming rate. Let’s be clear, it is mental stress and abuse. These box stores are the real dinosaur. If you can’t pay for it, close it and stop stepping on the backs of your staff who are just trying to make a little money so they can live the Canadian dream. Whatever the freak that is anymore! The ice age is here people but here’s a bit of news for you, you still have rights as workers in Ontario and I’d get educating myself on fair pay for fair work and labour board laws that are there to protect you.
1 kiss out of 5 (for removing the security tag)
Editir Mary Ellen Monk