Sometimes Bad Nick just has enough, and he has to rear up on his hind legs and raise a little bit of hell. It’s therapeutic, if nothing else, and sometimes it even gets results.
We had to make a run to a local branch of a nationwide office supply store to stock up on some items the other day. When we got to the only checkout line that was open (and why is there always only one open?), the woman ahead of us was one of those customers from hell that all retail clerks dread, and all other customers hate being stuck behind.
She wanted a subtotal with tax after each of her items were rung up, and then had to decide if she really wanted them or not. Once she finally got over that hurdle, the clerk asked her if she had the store’s rewards card, and she didn’t know what that was, and had to have it explained to her. Then she wanted to get one and fill out the paperwork for it. All the while we were left tapping our toes.
Okay, finally she gets her rewards card, everything is rung up, and she pulls out her debit card, which she had no idea how to use. She couldn’t remember her PIN number and had to search through her purse to see where she had written it down. Oh, here it is! No, wrong PIN number, let’s try again. And again.
By then we had people in line behind us and I was about ready to just leave our items and walk out. Then came the icing on the cake. Finally another clerk came up, opened the other checkout counter, and told the people behind us “Come over here, folks, let’s get you rung up.”
Huh? The people behind us in line? Not us, who had been waiting forever? The people who had just gotten in line? I don’t think so! I let both the clerk at our checkout counter, and the new one, know exactly what I thought about that. Whatever happened to customer courtesy? Whatever happened to efficiency? By then the woman ahead of us had finally completed her business and left, and our clerk apologized. Then she offered us one of their free rewards cards. I told her no thanks, from now on we’d do our shopping at their competition.
She said she wanted to keep our business, and told us she was giving us a 20% discount on our purchase. Since our bill was over $160, I thought that was very nice of her, and thanked her and told her so.
So we saved over $32 for our inconvenience and irritation. That was a good thing. But I have to wonder how many times things like that happen, if a clerk can just issue a discount like that without even checking with a manager. And I have to wonder how much money the store could save if they would just give good customer service instead of discounts. But since I don’t have one of those fancy MBA degrees that the guys in the corner offices wearing the suits have, what do I know?
Tags: 20% discount, competition, customer courtesy, customers from hell, debit card, debit card PIN number, efficiency, good customer service, nationwide office supply store, paperwork, raise a little bit of hell, retail clerks, retail store rewards card, store checkout line, store manager, therapeutic