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Treat us like you should!

August 20, 2010

On a typical day I would have cash in hand when I go to the store, but when does an incident ever happen on a typical day. I went to town taking a hot trip because the air condition just went out and I just so happen to leave my wallet at home when I changed clothes for the trip.  It was unbearably hot and I didn’t have my wallet but I went about my business any way.

I picked up my wife’s card because I was close to her work and proceeded to get some things from the local general store. The cashier rang me up and I swiped the card. She said “sir I need to see your Id. I said for a debit? I have the pin number.”  The cashier said “It plainly says on the door that we id.” I said “Look I’m not buying beer or something I’m using a d..e..b..i…t card. Never mind! Okay Is there an ATM close by?” . The clerk turns and points to one 200 yards away within perfect sight of her check out. I walked all the way to that machine and back and I took a breath before I spoke. I paid the woman and she apologized for her store. I said ” It is not your fault that the people that run this place are squirrels! She smiled and I bid her a good day but I will never shop in that store again.

It is not that I am right and they are wrong. It is the principle of the fact that I can go to their check out line and be denied, when I am having a hard day already, yet I can be in plan view of the same denying register, draw the money out, and go back and pay the same people who just watched me and denied my purchase 2 minutes before. I am just thankful that there is a walmart down the street that has never asked for my id on a debit (unless I’m buying beer.LOL!). I’ll remember that next time.

The point that I am trying to make about this incident is just how easily a consumer could be lost and rightfully so. The reason many smaller business are failing is because of the way the consumer is handled. Twenty years ago, if a customer was mad about something the store manager would bend over backwards to make things right but now you have people who work in sales situations that actually talk back to the customer like they matter more than the customer does. I try to avoid businesses like these, and the way that the bad ones have been closing around my house, I believe that this must be part of the reason.

In contrast to this I will give an example of the way I think that customers should be treated. Every year I go out to a restaurant to eat on my birthday. I travel 40 miles to get to the good ones. This year, I went to Outback Steak House .I can taste a good steak just thinking about this place usually. This time was different though. I ordered a steak that was not like their normal steak and I was really disappointed but I wasn’t going to say anything. The waitress picked up on the fact that I was disappointed and the manager came out and talked to me for quite a while actually, and I told him what I thought about the meal. He bought my meal and gave me an appetizer card towards my next purchase. It had his name on it and when I came back he personally cooked my steak. I think a lot of that place and now I go there anytime I want a good meal.

With every experience there is always something to be learned from it if one is willing to and this time is no exception. The cashier should not have assumed that I could read the sign about their rules for shopping or even noticed that sign for that matter. I should have read all their rules before entering their store. I also should have proper Id on me at all times but… Is it so wrong to not want to be hassled when the jobs gonna get done any way. I still bought what I intended to. The only difference is that now I have a poor memory of that store.

I plan to use each of these lessons in my life, should I ever be in similar circumstances again, and I will try to remember that every one has problems and that I have seen how we all should be treated as customers. And no matter what, I should treat people with a little more grace  than I have because you just never know what kind of day they are having.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Chuck Smith permalink
    August 21, 2010 4:59 pm

    Sir, I received your call last night and your invitation to read your blog about Outback Steakhouse. I would like to thank you for your kind words and continued business. It is our pleasure to take care of every guest who dines with us, but if we happen to fall short we always try to make it right. Money doesn’t grow on trees and people don’t eat out as much as they used to. It is our goal to serve great food, spirited drinks and give exceptional service. Again, I thank you for your praise.

    Chuck Smith
    Mgr. Outback Steakhouse

    • August 21, 2010 5:23 pm

      Mr. Smith,
      It is my pleasure to give credit where credit is due, but what good does it due to give it when the people responsible can’t read it. That is the reason I called your restaurant because it could have been any Outback Steak House but it was not just any of them, it was yours. I feel that it is really easy for people to give criticism but praise is often neglected. Keep up the excellent job Mr Smith.
      Thank you for being what it takes to be my favorite restaurant (47th and Yale, Tulsa)

  2. August 21, 2010 9:39 pm

    A lot of people have lost sight of what true service is. I mean it’s the hospitality industry for a reason right? one would think so at least. That’s why I, like you, praise and hold on to those places that truly provide a pleasant experience. They are few and far between, but when you find them it is great. lol.

    • August 22, 2010 2:38 pm

      I do hold companies that treat people right in high regard. I’d better…. they are gonna be around a lot longer than I will. The ones that fail are the ones that treat people poorly. In a tight economy it is even more important. The harsh reality is that many parents are now conditioning their kids to believe that they are special. There would not be anything wrong with that if they would treat everyone else as if they are special but a person can not be very special if everyone else is special too. Where do these special people get their first jobs? Right at the customer level.
      I saw a sign in a sales manager’s office once and I never forgot it : “Samson killed a 1000 men with the jaw-bone of an ass…1000 sales a day are killed the same way” . That sales manger was the best in car salesman in Tulsa for 30 years and then sold cars to only his long time customers for 15 more years there after.
      Thank you for your comment!

  3. March 24, 2011 8:27 pm

    The informaiton can be verified by many sources. Great reseach and delivery, thanks.

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