By Daniel Price, Customer Impact Scheduler
It’s amazing when mystery shopping creeps into your mind! Just this past weekend, I was with my family at the lake enjoying a much-needed holiday weekend. With the nearest town about 15 miles away, a convenience store and a dollar store serve as the only options to grab forgotten groceries, drinks, and anything else you need. Not wanting to drive back into town, I went over to grab some eggs at the dollar store on the morning of the Fourth. When I got there, it was a circus. The parking lot was full, the line at the register was weaving through aisles filled with people grabbing things before they were going to spend the day on the water. I grabbed one of the last boxes of eggs they had and found the end of the line.
Throughout this trip, I was wondering where the help was. At a lake community, on the Fourth of July, these types of stores are going to be packed when they are the only option other than driving into town. The only person there was the cashier. She had explained to some customers in front of me that another employee had called in sick, and the manager had to leave to resolve another issue, so it was just her at the time. She ran through every order with a smile on her face, making pleasant conversation with each customer, and wishing everyone a happy Fourth of July.
I have to be completely honest; I’m not sure I could do what she did with a smile on my face, given those circumstances. She was already working on a major holiday, her help had bailed on her, and the store was full of customers, many of them loud and already in party mode, who were impatiently wanting to get out of there and onto the lake. I’m pretty sure if I was stuck in that situation, I couldn’t perform my job as pleasantly and without a care in the world, like she did. When I got to the register, I told her that I hoped her manager knew how valuable she was to the operation, and wished her a great day.
It’s moments like this that remind you how important good customer service is. Technology is making our lives easier in every facet, but I think it’s also contributing to an impatient and non-attentive society, with people constantly looking at their phones or being disruptive. It is important that, while some things will change going forward, nothing can replace the feeling of getting great customer service from another human being. I hope someone was mystery shopping that store on the Fourth!