Customer Service…do you get it?

(RANT WARNING! Admittedly, the following post is a rant based on the Circle K store near my house and their inability to understand what the customer wants and their apathy towards providing it)

So here I was trying to wash off my windshield at the Circle K/Shell store near my house in Monument, CO. Because of past experiences, my expectations on this store's ability (or lack thereof) to meet my needs are pretty low, however, last Friday they failed, I cracked and here we are.

This store routinely has pumps out of order, pumps out of gas, car wash out of order, clerks standing by the door smoking, clerks in the back and not at the counter, trashy store entrance, and the current cause of madness…no windshield washer in any of their at least 8 dispensers. None. 

Let's think this through, as if you are the manager of this particular store. Hmmm. Blizzard dumps close to a foot of snow on Monument on Thursday night. By Friday noon, the temps are warmer and the sun is out. Streets are wet and slushy. Hmmm. What might the customer need? What do you need to make DARN SURE IS AVAILABLE at each and every one of your gas pumps? Right…dispensers full of nice blue windshield washer. 

Listen…customer service isn't brain surgery. All you need to do is anticipate needs and meet them. But drop the ball at either of those two points and you've missed it. And the thing I've noticed through the years is that you either get this or you don't. If you get it you really don't need that much training because the heart and attitude for it comes naturally. 

If you don't get it, training almost doesn't work. Sure you can set up procedures for it but if the person on the line…the one face to face with the customer doesn't get it, it's only a matter of time until they drop the ball. And then you've got an angry customer in your face. Or even worse posting a blog about how poorly you responded to their needs.

So as summer approaches and you are beginning to think seriously about summer staff training…are you going to spend some serious time on anticipating customer needs? Meeting customer needs? What do customers who are driving up your drive need the most? What are the needs of the customer who calls? Do you have the right answers?

Remember, you aren't doing this for you. You aren't designing customer service for your own comfort. It's about THEM. And without THEM, there is no YOU (or there is no JOB/ministry!)

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