Poor service sends customers packing
There has been quite a stir created in recent months with the closure of many homegrown businesses. Some of the reasons that these businesses cite as contributing factors are things like tax increases, big box stores and online shopping.
I wonder if any businesses are faltering (or have faltered) because of their own methods of business? What has sparked this train of thought has been my dealings with many Newfoundland owned and operated businesses.
We live in a close-quarters province, where corners are carved out by individuals who wish to provide a service or product to the people of Newfoundland. St. John’s is an even tighter-knit community where who you know often outweighs what you know, how you act and your work ethic.
Some of these places of business have a complete monopoly on certain markets and or products, and in niche markets, only one or two businesses is all the market can support. So us, as the general public, have no choice: deal with said business or venture online.
I am a big supporter of the homegrown idea, which is why I always look local first. My issue (and this sentiment is certainly shared by others) is that these niche market businesses sometimes pay very little attention to customer service.
In the past six months, I have been turned off from at least four places of business because of how the front line staff have conducted themselves as I am trying to spend my money in their workplace.
For those who can relate, I got the feeling that they were doing me a favour by letting me spend my money in their store. And although an annoyance (maybe be- cause I am not an account holder, or a six-figure-a-year spender) they are willing to swipe my card and take my funds.
If you are ever able to speak to someone who can affect change in the business, I have found they are quite receptive, and apologetic about negative experiences, but getting to actually speak to someone who can affect change and is willing is as rare as a solar eclipse.
No doubt some customers can be irrational, irate, and sometimes incomprehensible, and also, not always right. If they have paid money to your business, they deserve, at minimum, respect and appreciation for choosing your business, regardless if you are the only choice.
I will continue to support local, especially those who respect the customer, and I will continue to stand up to those who feel that my money is second rate.
I am a big supporter of the homegrown idea, which is why I always look local first.