Saturday, November 04, 2006

Complaints, please pick up on line 1

When did "manager" become a magic word for "the only person who can fix my problem and make me happy?"

Probably nine out of the ten times that people want a "manager," and then refuse to tell someone at Customer Service what the problem is, we could have handled the problem.

  • Is the item ringing up wrong? We can give you your money back.
  • Did you have a bad experience? We can give the "Tell Us About Your Visit" form to fill you or get the customer service manager on duty.
  • Do you want to turn in lost purse or item? We're on five cameras, plus a closed-circuit TV. We're NOT going to steal. (One a****** actually refused to let us have the purse once because he wanted to wait for the woman to come back to give him a reward)
  • Is the bathroom dirty? We can call for maintenance.
  • Did the cashier forget your coupon? We can take care of that for you.
  • Do you want to apply for a job? You need to do the application on the computer, then wait for a phone call.
  • Do you want something else? Then at least tell me so that I can get the correct person for you. We have a store manager, two co-managers, nine assistant managers, a Vision Center manager, a Pharmacy manager, a Tire & Lube Express manager, managers for bakery, deli & seafood, plus anywhere from one to five customer service managers on duty at any one time.

    If you want a special bread ordered from bakery, getting the assistant manager who handles Electronics & Domestics isn't going to do you much good. Or if you have a problem with the Deli, the assistant manager who is responsible for the Garden Center, hardware and Toys can listen to your problem, cut can't actually order salami for you.

    But back to the whole point of the story.

    This management, the men and women who actually have "ASSISTANT MANAGER" on their badges, HATE for us to call them unless it is of utmost necessity. They are actually busy doing merchandise things, especially on the weekends. Dealing with customers is what the customer service managers are for.

    So we at the Service Desk are never supposed to page management unless a customer is either going absolutely postal or is injured or something where we know we need them.

    So this woman sort of moseys up. I ask her if I can help her.


    Our response has to be "Is there something I can help you with, ma,am?" Because when it is something that we could have taken care of, management always helps the customer, then comes back to customer service and ask us "Why didn't you help that person and not interrupt me?

    She gets more riled up and goes "Are you a manager?"

    I don't like where this is going, but she might just want to say the bathrooms are dirty. THEY'RE ALWAYS FILTHY.

    I look right at her and go "What do you need ma,am?"

    She goes "I want to make a complaint."

    I go "What can I do for you ma,am?" After all, we're there to be the slaves of customers. Why not their emotional tampons too!

    I guess I wasn't good enough for her to talk to, because then she just got really pissy, slammed her buggy around, yelled at me "I don't want to talk to you. I'll just go home and call it in."

    OK. Fine. When the woman at the phone goes on lunch, we just let it ring for an hour because no one else can be spared off the register. So I hope you burn. I didn't want to talk to you either!
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Hey, you forgot about the people who wander in off the streets who want to 'check on my application' and couldn't be bothered to dress like they even want to work there; those are my least favorite 'manager' requests.
    And you are so lucky you don't have to answer the phone to those calls all day!! I'm at KMart service desk & we have many similar experiences.
    Anyway, thanks for the great blog. I look forward to new rants; and I sympathize.