I am no stranger to poor customer service so it didn’t come as a surprise to me the other day when I was at my local Woolworths store. So about my experience….well everything was going great until it came time to pay, and I realised I’d misplaced my rewards card. I thought no biggie, I’ll just come back with the rewards card. Let’s face it, every point counts towards something. I proceeded with the transaction and decided to go home, find my rewards card and bring it back to claim my points!
I got to the customer service counter, and in fairness, was approached by a very young employee. I explained the situation to her and the response was: “no I don’t believe we can do that and if we did we would have to re-scan each and every item…sorry can’t help you”…with an attitude to boot. First impressions were pretty grim…..to not even say let me see if we can do something…let me check with my manager or a colleague for you…just a straight out no. Time to challenge the status quo of course.
This young lady clearly hadn’t come across this situation before, had no training or experience on how to handle it, so chose to ignore it. One of my biggest pet peeves of all time is when people in the service industry fail to show any interest in trying to resolve or find a mutually beneficial outcome for both parties. Playing the ignorant or I couldn’t care less card is just not going to cut it. What to me seemed like a pretty reasonable and straight forward resolution…i.e. scan my receipt and claim against my loyalty card, seemed all too hard for this young lady. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the first customer to forget their rewards card…nor the last.
Clearly I wasn’t going to get anywhere with the young lady so I asked to speak to her supervisor. Her manager approached me as the young lady was explaining my request and the manager shook his head as he walked towards me saying to her “yes of course we can do that for the customer” and he proceeded to show her how to do it. All I said to the manager was, you should ensure your staff are trained to deal with such a request as I’m sure it will come up again.
Its really disappointing as this was a good example that we are not teaching our up and coming generation the importance of providing good customer service. Don’t get me wrong it’s not always the young generation that lets the service industry down (and there are times when consumers are out of line and unreasonable…I get that) but at least if we speak up and hold management accountable, our young generation stands a chance to make things right by genuinely caring about the customer needs and accepting that it’s a balance between everyday standard processes and the occasional exception to the norms.
The takeaway for those residing in Western Australia….if you happen to forget your Woolworths Everyday Rewards Card do not panic as you can go back with your receipt and claim back your otherwise lost points!
Do you speak up when you receive poor customer service and equally inform others when your shopping experience exceeds your expectations?