Thursday, 17 November 2011

Wednesday, 16th November - Oxfam

Today's charity of the day ended up being Oxfam back in my hometown of Sherborne, Dorset, where I bought a notebook and two books on business. One of these was on customer service which really I could have donated back for one of the guys behind the till to read.

When someone tries to pay for something, generally, GENERALLY, it's a good idea to say "hello" or "smile", not just stare at them and wonder how the hell they appeared in front of you. Not only did this happen in Oxfam (and I do not think this guy was a volunteer - he looked like a paid manager), but also two minutes before in the British Red Cross shop further up the road where the staff member's breathtaking rudeness nearly had me in tears.

I saw a dress in the window (often if something is in a display, then staff don't like you to touch it) so waited in the queue to ask how much it was. The woman behind the counter finished her chat, the customer/friend walked away and she and I came face-to-face. She frowned at me. I waited. She frowned a bit more and continued to stare.

"Hi!" I said. She stared a bit more, still not speaking. "Hi!" I tried again. "Did you want something or not?" she growled. "I wondered how much that dress is in the window, please?" I asked.

"I don't know!" she snapped.

"OK - I'll look myself. On second thoughts, forget it - I'll go somewhere where people don't feel the need to be rude to me." When I said that, she smiled very sweetly and ran around to where I was and said: "Oh that dress, it's a size 10-12".

Too late! Why do people volunteer in places where they meet real people if they're not people people?

So, some tips for my new friend from the book I bought in Oxfam:

17: Meet and greet - first impressions last
18: Treat your customers with respect
23: Smile!
36: Make it easy for customers to shop
37: Eliminate all obstacles to making a purchase
47: be patient and courteous to your customers
48: Be welcoming
103: Always think about your customers

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