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Just about everyone knows someone who has been bullied, in ways big and small. Understandably, though, many victims are reluctant to speak about their experiences. We found some who aren't.
BY NANDI MUSENGWA, St. Petersburg High
It really sucks when your favorite store or restaurant has the worst employees. Ones who are rude, indifferent, unhelpful, you know the kind.
There have been too many times when I have been served up less than satisfactory customer service and just took it.
But no more.
After filing a complaint following an awful experience at my favorite store, Sephora, I realized the power of standing up for myself.
My friends and I went to the store recently to return a product that had not worked out for me. From the moment we walked in, we noticed dirty looks from the employees. As we browsed before I made my return, the glares really made us feel unwelcome, as if the employees were just waiting for us to steal something. When I got to the register, the employee was very snappish and rude, after I had just witnessed him being friendly to older women in the store.
Once home, I got on my computer and promptly wrote an email to the store’s customer service explaining what happened. The next day I received an email response from the customer service center saying that my complaint had been forwarded to the manager of my local Sephora. Two days later, the manager emailed me, apologizing for what had happened and offering me a free personal makeover with a goody bag.
As a customer, no matter who you are, you deserve proper customer service. Your business is just as important as anyone else’s. Companies know this, and as a result, they provide customer service centers to answer customers who may have questions or concerns. So my advice is, don’t just settle with bad customer service. Speak up and get the customer service you deserve.
Tips to get the best customer service
1. Speak up: This is the most important tip of all. If you feel as if you are not being treated politely or fairly, say something. Be clear and assertive, but don’t forget to be polite. And remember, they’ll never know if you don’t say anything!
2. Take it to the top: If you did not enjoy the customer service you received or you did not feel the personnel at the store satisfied your complaint, do not hesitate to take advantage of the customer service opportunities online. Most company websites have an area where you can contact them via email. Make sure to include the specific location of your store as well as the problems you had there. They can be much nicer than you expect, even offering you free benefits as an apology.
3. Ask and you shall receive: Don’t expect the employees to read your mind. If you are having trouble finding a specific product, simply ask the nearest employee. Any questions about that product? That’s what they’re there for. Employees will never know what you need if you don’t tell them. You can’t be disgruntled about a store not having a product if it’s just because you didn’t know where to look.
4. Don’t forget your manners: Contrary to the saying, the customer is not always right. Keep in mind the employees you deal with work long, hard hours, so don’t take advantage of them by making unreasonable demands. Do not be rude or disrespectful; do not treat them as if they are beneath you. And remember to say please and thank you!