Where’s the Customer Service?

Remember the Wendys commercials where Clara Peller asked, "Where's the Beef?" I was suddenly reminded of the commercials last week when I was shopping at ShopRite grocery store and a WalMart.

First, I was in WalMart at about 11:30AM this past Saturday. When I entered the store the register lines were building across the main front aisle, deep into the interior of the store.  I took the time to count the number of customers waiting in line to check out (ok, I didn't have anything better to do) and found that more that 150 customers were waiting at four registers. Mind you, this WalMart has twenty-two registers. 

I told my wife that the chaos would be cleared up by the time we were ready to check out. Forty-five minutes later I discovered I had misjudged WalMart's level of customer service. The lines were just as bad and the same four registers were the only ones open.

I decided to wait, (again not much going on in my life on Saturday AM), and observe what WalMart was doing to aleve the problem. My findings? They were doing nothing. The Manager, when I asked his wherebouts, was somewhere in the back of the store and an employee offered, "They didn't schedule enough help." My comment, "No kidding."

During my wait in line I observed countless customers walk out the door, leaving their selections behind. WalMart! Where's the customer service?

My second stop was at my local ShopRite.  As in WalMart the store was busy, typical for Saturday. My problem was there weren't any baggers (courtesy clerks) bagging the customer's orders. In the grocery industry this is one of my pet peeves. As a long time employee in the grocery business I fully understand the "bagger" is the backbone of the store.

When it became my turn to checkout the cashier rang my order, took my payment and then stood looking at me. I asked if she was going to bag my purchase. She replied, I thought you would do that." I just stared at her and she quickly bagged my purchase and thanked me for shopping.

Next stop - the Manager. When I described my shopping experience he stated that the Courtesy Clerk position is the hardest to fill. I responded that If I were shopping in a wholesale store I would expect to bag my purchase, but your store is a full service store. I ended with, "If you're not going to provide the service to the customers - you need to lower your prices." His response was, "Do you want a job?" That was enough for me, I quickly left the store with my tail between my legs.

Again, I ask the question. Where's the Customer Service? Wake up retailers.

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