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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Okay, maybe it's not all about the smile...

Have you ever encountered a customer service rep who was too friendly? I know of one particular store in St. John's that has this problem. Now, don't get me wrong, a genuine conversation with your customer is appreciated, but there is a wonderful, friendly guy at Marie's on Hamlyn Road who takes his customer relationships to the extreme. Since I'm not the best at tactfully stepping out of a social interaction, I usually send Sean in. Every time, he ends up a captive audience to this guy's life story. One day, he's complaining about how his manager gives him all the 'managerial' duties to do. The next day, he talks at length about how much fun he had in the woods over the weekend. Other days, it's simply an in-depth recap of whatever task he happened to have done earlier in his shift. I watch them from outside sometimes - Sean turns toward the door, the guy says something else, Sean laughs, waits another minute, makes a step toward the door again, I start the car, but oh no, the chat is not over yet! At times, he's been detained in there for a solid 10 minutes. It's a convenience store, for crying out loud - you go there because it's a quick stop when you don't have time to wait in line.

The worst thing about it is, the poor lonesome guy doesn't just chat while serving his customer. He chats while finishing whatever is was he was doing when the customer came in, only making his way to the counter to serve them after the bread is all aligned to the lip of the shelf, or all the Nevada tickets are counted, or the smudge on the cooler has been cleaned to his liking. So, I take back my assertion that customer service is all about a friendly attitude. It's also about respecting the value of your customer's time.



  1. Good point, This has happened to me in the past as well.

  2. Frenchie,

    I'd be interested to hear any stories you have on this topic. I think the 'too friendly' experiences probably have the most potential for a good laugh, which is always welcome :)