Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Expecting better customer service December 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 8:55 AM
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EVERY FOUR TO SIX WEEKS, my husband and I make a major grocery shopping trip with a divide and conquer plan. It’s easier that way.

With two lists and two carts, we work the store. He handles most of the meat and fruit selection, the snack aisle and dairy products. I take the rest. The tag team approach gets us in and out of the store faster. Less time in the store, less money spent.

Wednesday evening, however, after all 68 items had been scanned, my husband slid a gift card through the payment system and our plan disintegrated. The computer locked up. We wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon.

I realize these things happen. But the manager, rather than deal with the situation in a calm, professional manner, became visibly and verbally flustered. His agitation only added to my frustration.

I didn’t need to hear that this lock-up has happened previously on this computer with gift cards. Fix the darned thing then, alright.

While we stood there, the check-out clerk and two other employees moved, unbagged, rescanned and repacked all 68 items at an adjacent check-out lane.

Meanwhile, the manager directed other shoppers away from the “bad” lane and simultaneously paged for assistance. He finally realized that flicking off the lane light would effectively steer shoppers away from the malfunctioning computer.

When the final grocery bill of $118.02 was rung up for the second time, I expected perhaps a discount or a gift card as a good will expression of apology. That didn’t happen. We were simply reminded, for about the umpteenth time, that this problem has previously occurred and that, had we waited for the frozen computer to be fixed, we would have stood there at least 10 minutes.

Like we weren’t anyway. Waiting for more than 10 minutes.

Let’s all repeat these two words together umpteen times: “Good customer service.”

SHOULD THE MANAGER have responded differently? Tell me about an experience with customer service–good, bad or otherwise. Just keep your comments family-friendly and libel-free.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling