Wednesday, June 28, 2006


The Letter

I did it. After going over in my mind that whole ordeal with the surly hardware clerk, I put pen to paper...or finger to keyboard and wrote a letter to the manager.

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am writing this letter to inform you of a rather less than satisfactory experience I had at your store the morning of June 24, 2006.

Shortly before 10:00am I entered your store to pick up an item I required at my business. While I was in an aisle comparing items, a clerk walked down the aisle and I greeted her by saying hello. This received neither a reply in kind or a friendly smile. I decided to not let it bother me. Perhaps she didn’t hear me. It’s not very likely, but possible.

I took my item to the register and waited for a clerk to arrive. The same clerk arrived, again didn’t say hello, didn’t smile or acknowledge me in any way. She didn’t ask if I found everything I was looking for. In fact, she didn’t speak at all except to say “$7.44” after scanning the item and reading the total on the register. I handed her my debit card, she swiped it and dropped the keypad on the counter, again not saying a word. She stapled my receipts and handed them to me. She didn’t ask if I would like a bag, didn’t say “thank you” or “have a nice day”. The name ‘Mary’ appears on the receipt.

After leaving your store, I stopped in at [major drug store chain] to pick up another item and was greeted with a friendly “hello” as soon as I walked through the doors. I found my item, took it to the till and was greeted again by the cashier who asked if I found everything I was after. I told her I had. She gave me my total, placed the item and receipt in a bag, handed it to me and said “thank you very much, see you again, have a great day”.

Although the stores are only a few doors away, the service is worlds apart. As a small business owner, I know that I would want to know if a customer found my staff to be surly and unfriendly toward a customer. I know that customers are not a disruption to my work; they are the reason for it. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that there is a lot of competition out there in the retail business. When there are a variety of places a customer can patronize, customer service is where a business can shine and gain customer loyalty.

I have shopped at your store a number of times these past few years based solely on convenience as it is located between my home and business. However, a business requires more than this to retain customers, and a major component is friendly, helpful staff.



I'll be throwing it in the mail after work today. I wonder what kind of response I'll get.

Good for you. I'm so tired of surly teenagers (assuming here and we know what that does). What's so hard about a simply hello, especially when you said it first. She should be happy she has a job in this economy.

Was the second store a Shoppers? I love Shoppers!
That's interesting...if it was a teenager I don't know that I would be so offended, but it was a grown woman (50+) who really should have more people skills. Funny how we've come to expect indifference from our youth, but are shocked to see it in our elders.
Yep, Shoppers indeed.
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