Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A few pop culture lessons about customer service

This past Sunday,the few remaining Borders bookstore outlets left open had to shut their doors for good and at one location,a farewell list of sorts was displayed.

Titled "Ode to a Book Store Death",the collection of employee pet peeves included many that I've personally dealt with and no doubt anyone whose has worked in retail and/or customer service has as well,in one form or another.

Now,some might see this as unnecessary griping but in truth,many of these issues would be easily resolved if folks learned how to be a little more courteous in their consumer interactions. Yes,there are rude people on both sides of the counter but the old saying about reaping what you sow holds true as well.

With that in mind,let us turn to a few examples in pop culture land that might help to teach us all how to be better customers. Rudeness does get results but as these clips show,manners make a more distinctive impression:

FINGER SNAPPING IS UNACCEPTABLE: Whether you're trying to get the attention of a store clerk,a busy cashier or an even busier waitress,repeated finger snaps are guaranteed to instantly put that person whose assistance you need in a bad mood.

It would be wiser to wait for that person to catch their breath and then request their help in a polite yet determined way. Otherwise,you run the risk of being served the rough side of their tongue:

SERVICE WITH A SMILE CAN BE A HEALTH HAZARD: While it is more professional for staff members to withhold their annoyances with co-workers until the customer leaves,some situations just don't allow for that to happen naturally or calmly.

If you wind up being caught in the customer service crossfire,your best bet is to not make any sudden moves,especially if the owner's on the literal warpath:

TAKE OUT YOUR FRUSTRATIONS AT THE RIGHT PARTY: If you're having a problem with a particular employee at your local shop, giving his or her co-workers a hard time about that person isn't going to make them take your grievance more seriously.

Odds are that you will instead have even more allies against you as soon you leave the premises,which could be bad news if you happen to forget one of your personal items on the way out:

A LITTLE CHARM GOES A LONG WAY: Delays at a crowded cash register are stressful,not only for the folks waiting in line but the harried clerk who has already rung up all of your purchases and is just counting the minutes until her shift is over.

Convincing her to bend the rules is not easy when the last thing that hard working gal wants to deal with is a later hassle with her boss about it. However,a nice smile and a sweetly sincere joke can make that decision easier to make:

Class dismissed,but before we go let me impart a few words of wisdom to those still out there in the retail trenches. There are just some customers who can not be gainsaid in their consumer conquest of your work place.

He or she tends to approach shopping like a general planning a major battle and when you come across that unstoppable force,it's in your best interest to simply fall in line and follow orders. It's safer,trust me on this:

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