Mothercare and M&S. No wonder the High St is struggling.(8 Posts)
Mothercare, Brixton, early on a weekday morning, I pop in between work meetings to buy presents for a colleagues new baby. 3 customers in the shop, all of whom are in the queue. Assistants all over, doing nothing. One at till, serving, but chatting, chatting endlessly with customer. Assistant at adjoining queue, fiddling with something, not serving. After a good 5 mins I asked politely if queue could be speeded up, was ignored. Chatting continued, anecdotes etc. and I then hear her say she will go across the shop to show the customer (clearly a friend) an item she likes.
I abandoned my intended purchases, about £50-worth, and left.
M&S: just sell tights and file them
Properly! Why the hell do I have to rummage through a mish mash of styles, sizes and colours across a whole wall of tights to eventually discover that you don't have Black 10 denier in 'Large'. Hardly an esoteric item, surely!
I went to another shop for the baby items and am still seeking tights!
This sort of frustrating experience for the shopper must, in part, be behind the struggle for retailers in the High St?
Halfords are even worse. I've been in various Halfords a dozen times in my life and only ever managed to get served on about 3 occasions. They just stand around and ignore customers completely. We once tried to get license plates done. We chased an employee down only to be told, "Sorry, I don't do plates". She didn't offer to get anyone for us and just walked off. We chased down another employee who said he also didn't do plates. We asked him to get someone who did. So off he went. 15 sodding minutes later someone came out from the back. We asked if he did plates. He said he did. Success! Yes! But no, he then told us he would be right back and promptly wandered off. We saw him dithering about the shop, fiddling with displays and chatting to colleagues. Half an hour later, gobsmacked, we just left. I still can't believe we were in the shop for over an hour and never got served. We needed the bloody plates for an MOT!
Buying a child's bike is just as bad!
Customer service in this country is shocking. There are only a couple of places where I have experienced excellent customer service every time I go in - Lush and Whittards.
There just seems to be an inability to think from the pov of the customer. Young untrained staff - probably on a v low wage - because after all, we are told that the Higt St / Retail is struggling. Is it a vicious circle?
I don't find it everywhere, lots of places do have efficient and polite and friendly tills - the supermarkets, including Lidl, for example.
But standing there nattering when there are two people in the queue, why do they think they can use up other pelpe's tome like that?
The inability to multi-task does my head in, too.
I have worked behind a bar and on a café counter. When someone gave me an order, while getting it all ready I would tot it up in my head and tell them how much it would be. Then while I am creating the perfect crema on the coffee , or head on the Guinness, they can be fiddling in their pocket for the money, getting the right money, and as soon as the order is complete, they can pay and you are onto the next person in the queue. Now as a customer I get the order painstakingly fulfilled, then a while they add it up on the til and enter , then tell you, , you find correct money...
No sense of getting a wiggle on.
It is a vicious circle, I work in retail (a store who's customer service is the top priority) and find myself shocked in other retailers where it is very much lacking.
The problem being is that as the internet takes more sales off the high street, retailers can't afford to pay top dollar to employees or offer many full time contracts. Good and experienced workers then don't want to stay in the industry as they can't get enough hours/pay and they move on.
If the high street made more money things would improve but I don't see it happening any time soon. Unless all the managing directors and CEOs invest in some serious training. I've been served several times in places like halfords (again!), whsmith (except one guy in my local who is great), Clintons and wilkos where the staff just do not care. Leave you waiting for ages and clearly serving you I the last thing they want to do!
Good service in Halfords today and great service in Wickes and Screwfix. (One did a great price match on the back of a google search and the other a nice discount that I didn't notice till I got home).
But FrogTime, UK high street service was crap long before the t'interweb. That's why online shopping is more popular here than almost any other country.
Which is why I won't buy in bricks-and-mortar what I could buy online and why when I buy in bricks-and-mortar I prefer self-service tills which don't chat to the customer before me and don't grudge having to serve me.
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