If the Roles were Reversed

If the Roles were Reversed

Community User Blog | Posted by Kirsten Flynn - August 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm

At least once a week I stop at a major retailer on my way home to pick up essentials and it.s usually about 7:30 PM by the time I approach the check-out line. Never less than two people ahead of me, my mind automatically prepares for the wait. I don.t even notice the 16 closed conveyor belt registers; there are only 4 open to choose from. My cart doesn.t qualify me for the 8 .Less than 12 items. check-outs but only 2 of them are open anyway. It didn.t even dawn on me that this store doesn.t staff according to their customers volume. If they did, my eyes wouldn.t have started to glaze over, as the long day caught up with me, while I stood idle in line. I pull out my smart phone, check my email and social media. I still have a few minutes before I can unload my cart and already people are joining the queue behind me. When did we become so complaisant to the corporations rules and do they ever consider what they are putting their clients through?

This got me thinking about what truly is Customer Service today? Once upon a time it was 4 men running out to service you and your vehicle when needing a fill-up of gas. It was a time where corporations not only advertised great customer service they actually delivered on it. Full Service versus Self Service. Today there is so much market saturation for most products and services that customer service is still talked about but in my opinion, not fully delivered. Competitive pricing is what attracts the customers and drives the revenues. With this revelation hitting me at now 7:45 PM I realize that in order to be successful, I need to keep reversing the roles with my customers.

Movers are just about the bottom of the food chain when someone is relocating. Most of our customers are at their wits end with the legal paperwork and organizing this major life change so you can imagine how stressed they are on a move day. It.s very hard to be rational when your life is upside down and a good mover will know how to manage such situations. The Supervisor on each move will introduce himself/herself and a crew, asks the customer to show them around the house and explain how they are going to pack the truck reassuring our client that if they have any questions, they are there to answer them. Moving is a full on customer service industry with labour as its main feature, we can.t help but be customer focused because we are literally in front of each client.

So as I stood watching the line behind me grow and not seeing any more cash registers open I wondered if the upper management of these huge retail establishments ever made purchases in their own stores. And if they did, were they given priority service or did they join the queue like everyone else. Do they even really care? My conclusion is that if the entire store, less the check-out, is self-serve, then I am solely responsible for my own customer satisfaction.

Q: .So Kirsten, how would you rate your services today?.

A: .I was quite pleasant with myself considering that I remembered to bring the shopping list this time and managed to fill the cart without incident.

Q: .So you.ll consider shopping with yourself again?.

A: .Yes, I.m quite organized and enjoy my sense of humour..

Now that the roles are reversed in my head I cannot complain or whine about the lack of customer service I received at that store because I was the one who choose to shop there. I knew upfront that I wasn.t going to be given any preferential treatment and that it is strictly location convenience that leads me there. In my opinion, modern day Customer Service is something that comes with a quality product and shouldn.t be expected with ANY bargain purchases.

Kirsten Flynn

Vice President of Premiere Van Lines Inc.

Kirsten Flynn has a passion for what she does and a desire to share her knowledge and experience. Since being featured on Undercover Boss Canada, Kirsten is making it her mission to help people choose the right, reputable moving company. She has been featured in many magazines and is now educating the general public on moving services through social media.

Premiere Van Lines is one of the most diversified moving companies in Canada offering a wide range of moving services nationally, cross-border and internationally for both residential and commercial customers. The extensive experience allows Premiere Van Lines to raise the bar on the Art of Moving. and offer an uncompromising level of satisfaction. No matter what you need to move, Premiere Van Lines will help make sure your next move is a masterpiece.

Connect with Kirsten via Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest

Tags: customers, motivation, sense

Garth Richards
August 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm

I can relate entirely.  Waiting in line is one thing that none of us has patience for.  Is our lack of patience a symptom of our own selfish desire to be first? Is it that we resent waiting in line to spend our hard earned dollars? Or is it simply that we lead busy lives and we are always rushing to be somewhere "else".  One thing that always amazes me is the cashiers themselves and how most of the time they can manage a smile (almost always if you encourage them) and having low expectations at the cash line that is reward enough for me.    Perhaps that is the secret to customer service.  Low expectations.  Under promise and over deliver.  Competition in the marketplace can lead sales people to painting unrealistic pictures of the level of service they can deliver and ultimately disappointed customers. 

Kirsten Flynn
August 30, 2013 at 3:09 pm
Well said Garth. Thank you for your comments. I have had a few other share similar views with me after reading this. Good to know that people are aware and perhaps we will see some changes.
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