Retail Lessons from AGRO’S: How not to do customer service

I had some disappointing service the other day in a shop – let’s call it Agro’s. I had bought an item that said it would fit my lovely motorbike only to find it was too small. “Could I exchange it for a bigger one?” I asked the Manager. “No,” she explained with a look of derision and contempt, “It’s been opened and used.” When I explained that I had to open the package to see if it fitted, she said: “That was your choice!” When I said I might complain to Head Office, she said, “You can, but they will ask me and I will say it was opened!” It was embarrassing and humiliating, especially with some younger members of the staff smirking in the background. In the end we agreed to disagree, not before I determined never, ever, ever, to shop there again!
Interesting, isn’t it, that one bad experience, colours our view of the whole organisation and leaves a bad taste in our mouths. And so it is with our Hospitals.
Walking around the Royal I see huge examples of courtesy and kindness. People going out of their way to help others; smiling, and going the extra mile in times of huge need. But doubtless, in an organisation this large, some of us are bound to have felt we have been treated shabbily, or even, God forbid, felt humiliated or belittled.
So for those employed by the Hospitals, in whatever capacity,t remember: Careless words harm the reputation of us all. We must challenge it (if we see it) and guard our own words. And for those who have felt a little like me that shop, a bit of lea way is needed. Not everyone is on top form all of the time; and one bad experience shouldn’t devalue all of the good work by hard working professional staff.
So, I will take the high ground and I will shop at Agro’s again – probably!

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