Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Have a Nice Day

That’s what the cashier said to me at the end of my purchase.

I said nothing back. Why? Because I felt that her statement was insincere. From what I saw, her well-meaning statement was delivered because the company instructed her to deliver it at the end of every transaction. She really didn’t mean it and she didn’t understand why she was saying it.

She didn't care about my day and she didn't care if I "had a nice day".

The strange thing is that the cashier probably thought that I was rude for not responding.

I had three choices.

1. I could have mumbled something back with the same lack of conviction just to appease her.
2. I could have pointed out the lack of sincerity in her statement and actions. That could have led into a rant about poor customer service in general and her specific mistreatment of me as a customer.
3. Instead I said nothing because I felt that my words would be wasted.

I’m only guessing that the words she said were mandated by the company because they were totally out of sync with her actions.

She never looked at me. Not once. Not even for a few seconds. She clearly did not respect nor appreciate me as a customer.

When I approached the counter she took my product, scanned it and typed on the cash. Then she stated with disgust, “My computer has been acting up all day.” She did not apologize. She simply expressed her disgust at her computer. It was making her life difficult – and I assumed so was I.

I attempted some levity with, “With all these computer experts around there must be a way to fix it.” It was an office products store. She called for help. When another staff member approached, she demonstrated the problem as she repeatedly stabbed the keys angrily. He politely asked her to stop. He directed her, then me to a different cash register. He even spoke to the couple behind me in line to allow me to be processed before them.

She did not apologize for my inconvenience – perhaps because she was so wrapped up in her own inconvenience. She did not thank me for my business. She never looked at me. I’m baffled at how she accomplished that total lack of eye contact.

And then she had the gall to say “Have a nice day.” Instead of making me feel good with that statement she conveyed the message that here was a very unhappy employee who clearly hated her job and the customers she served.

If she is getting minimum wage – she is overpaid.

Have a nice day?

Customer service is the front line of marketing.

Before you spend any momey on advertising or promotion - train your staff!

George Torok

Marketing Speaker


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