BOWLING GREEN, OH - MAY 17: A Wal-Mart greeter waits to welcome new customers to the new 2,000 square foot Wal-Mart Supercenter store May 17, 2006 in Bowling Green, Ohio. The new store, one of three new supercenters opening today in Ohio, employs 340 people with 60 percent of those working full-time. (Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images)

The other day I noticed a post on my Facebook page about a women looking for a product in a local retail store. She informed the clerk that she could probably recognize the product but couldn’t remember the name of the product.

According to her account the clerk responded with, “How do you expect me to find it if you don’t know the name of it?” Her response was leaving the store vowing to never darken their door again. She also thought about reporting the clerk’s behavior to the owner or manager but chose to post about it instead.

My advice was to return to the store and report the incident to the storeowner or manager. Otherwise, how will the manager know if a customer service talk might be warranted?

Clerks, CSR's and Team Members

I guess in today’s world the word “clerks” is probably politically incorrect. They are most commonly referred to as, “CSR’s,” customer service representatives or “team members” is another popular description.

People are people. They have bad days and good days. Sometimes they bring outside issues to the workplace and the customer ends up on the receiving end.

Be that as it may, businesses spend hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars each month trying to draw customers into the business for a positive shopping experience.

Unfortunately it only takes one bad experience to undo all that positive energy and negate that expense.

Are You Guilty?

When you receive poor service, and don’t make that fact known, you are indirectly contributing to the very level of service you are railing against. There is a great quote from Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart the really sums up customer service.

“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

No business owner wants rude or unhelpful employees on their sales floor. I will admit that many business owners fail to realize the importance of customer training. They often spend more time on how to ring in a sale than how to keep an unhappy customer from walking out the door.

Some Final Thoughts

Customers have an obligation, in my opinion, to share any unpleasant experience with store management. You are helping the store to be better and you are also helping the clerk to be better as well.

We all want good products and good service. But when there is a breakdown in communication the economy suffers. Products and services end up costing more and customer service is reduced to a “buzzword.” Do your part to make things better for all of us — Speak Up.