It’s the much-anticipated, and dreaded, holiday season. There are cards to send, decorations to be put up, relatives to put up with and gifts to be bought. The stores are crowded. The roads are crowded. We are all a bit stressed and in a hurry. But we still want good customer service. So?
BE A GOOD CUSTOMER. You heard me. Stop being such a jerk. Don’t yell at the poor clerk trying to help you. That clerk may not have the authority to do what you may be asking her/him to do. Ask for a supervisor or manager if you are asking for something beyond store policy. And ask politely. This works on the telephone a well. Yelling at the overworked, underpaid rep will only get you ‘disconnected’ and no one will be happy. Really. Your yelling and making a scene is completely uncalled for. And you look like and ass. Not pretty.
BE A POLITE CUSTOMER. Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone is in your shoes. Everyone forgot to get a gift for Great Aunt Milly and is rushing about trying to find something for her. Everyone has rellies coming. It isn’t just YOU. Take a breath. Count to 10 (or 20 or 100) and calm the heck down. Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’. Help someone with too many packages to their car. Hold doors open. Smile. Above all – be patient. Do you know what happens when you do that? Others ‘pay it forward’. They smile. They hold doors. They let the lady with one item go ahead of them in line. They say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’. It is contagious. The world becomes a little happier as a result.
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE FOR CUSTOM ITEMS. I work in business that makes custom items. We have a stream of customers who NOW want 20 to 100 custom items made before Christmas. A lot of them ‘have been thinking about doing this for a while now’. So we now have to work harder, and longer hours to get them finished on time. While I am not complaining about the extra hours (meaning extra pay), I still find frustrating to deal with someone who waited until a week before Christmas to follow through on a thought they had in November.
DON’T BE A WANKER ABOUT THAT CUSTOM ORDER. Oh don’t give me that look. You know who you are and what I mean. You’ve waited until the last-minute. Now you want to be über picky about colors, style and the like. That’s fine. But listen to the people who making the items for you. YOU have no clue how to do this. This is why you came to us. WE know how to do this. What works, what doesn’t work. Be open-minded about suggestions so we can get your items made. The more you change your mind, the less chance we have of getting your things made on time. When we tell you white on white isn’t going to show up, please believe us. Oh, and along that line? White is white. There is no ‘dark white’ or ‘light white’. After white, there is off white, ivory, beige, tan etc., or silvers and grays.
DON’T BE ANNOYED AT HOW SOMEONE WISHES YOU A HAPPY HOLIDAY. I don’t give a whit about how someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. It not how they say it, it’s the thought behind it. They are wishing me joy and happiness. They are being warm and caring. So be it ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy Holidays’, Happy New Year’, or whatever, I am pleased they are thinking of me. I say ‘ Thank you, Merry Christmas (or whatever) to you also.’ I smile. I am happy someone wishes me well.
Merry Christmas to you all. Enjoy your holiday season. Spend time with the people you love. Call, text, or write. Do whatever you need to do to reach out to those who live far and away. Smile. Laugh.
And make the holidays a little happier for all of those around you.