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Its now about Customer experience not service

Reading Liz Jones account of retail reinforced why there is a need for training sessions I have recently taken in retail.I expressed to the companies it is about rethinking strategies if the high street is to survive. No longer should we use 'customer service' as a marker to our success, but look at the customer having an experience and how we can create this. In this training I have helped retail and service industries and we looked at the mindset of the company, their customers, and how this needed to be adapted to offer an experience for them. This could then create the desire to purchase from the high street rather than automatically turning to the internet. There are huge advantages to purchasing locally but it needs to promoted by the companies. Small businesses have the biggest challenge and working with others to create this in their high street would be advantageous.

Very much enjoyed the humour and honesty of the write up.

We certainly do not make dogs welcome anywhere in Greater London- I do agree with Liz. In Cornwall, Yorkshire, and the New forest the dog is first and well behaved owners allowed in if accompanied by the dog :)

Shop staff do smile - but only when they're banning me from the store, writes LIZ JONES


PUBLISHED: 02:04, 8 July 2018 | UPDATED: 02:05, 8 July 2018

The real reason the high street's dying? Service with a snarl (and shoppers like me). The customer, it would seem, isn't always right.

Last week, a 54-year-old man was banned from ever purchasing anything again from John Lewis, in store or online. He has even been banned from Waitrose.

The reason? Was he carrying a Lidl bag for life? Did he take back a cauliflower, given he hadn't realised the teeny photo on the Waitrose website meant 'actual size'.

No, poor Mr Paul Chambers has been excommunicated because he purchased and then returned no fewer than 12 TV sets.

He did have a good reason, though, for being so picky: he suffers from severe epilepsy, so the quality of the picture has to be perfect.

never used to be a difficult customer but ever since the menopause, when my caring hormones went out of stock, I have learned to stick up for myself, given the dire level of service these days.

The sales assistant on Chanel at John Lewis, Oxford Street, who seemed puzzled when I asked for liquid eye liner, rummaged through drawers for what felt like 489 years, and eventually said: 'We don't have it in black.'

The woman in Sainsbury's in Dalston, who took umbrage when I asked her why she never felt moved during a quiet moment to wipe down her conveyor belt.

I've been banned from my local Boots for complaining about the fact no one could sell me paracetamol as the pharmacist was at lunch ('I certainly have a headache now!' was my passing shot).

I was banned ages ago for an alleged hate crime by my opticians for saying that I couldn't understand what the heavily accented Italian man was trying to tell me (largely the reason I had laser eye surgery).

The real reason the high street's dying? Service with a snarl (and shoppers like me)

I've also been banned from my local spa for sending them a photo of wax stuck to my body and wonky polish ('The therapist found you intimidating,' the manager emailed) and banned from my hairdresser for complaining when they let me leave the salon FOR A WEDDING with several inches of black dye on my face. (Again, I took photos, which at least got my money back, although I will never recover from my brother wondering if I'd joined the Black and White Minstrels).British high streets are dying for a reason and it's not just because our habit of returning items we should really have tried on or at least touched is costing the economy £7 billion a year. It's the 'closed' sign on a farm shop at 1pm… on a Saturday. It's the 'If it's not on the rail, we probably don't have it' sign.

It's the parking tickets and the licking of carrier bags and the 'no dogs allowed inside apart from Guide Dogs', and the disinterested 'dunnos' that make us retreat indoors and log on instead.Unfortunately, of late, I've been driven insane by internet shopping, too.

You might think purchasing online was pretty failsafe: shop assistants are shielded from my temper by several million feet of fibre optic cables, the dog is safe and cool indoors. But no.

As a loyal online customer of 'artisan roasters' Coffee Plant for many years, I would occasionally have to call the lady at Grinding HQ and complain: the wrong coffee, the wrong amount, unexplained delays, the delivery driver trying to tell me I don't know my own postcode. 'This isn't my area,' he said, lamely.

Anyway, just like poor Mr Chambers, I've received a very similar and hurtful (given I've never cheated on Coffee Plant with Illy or Lavazza) letter telling me I've been dumped. Not an apology, but a thinly veiled attack.

'Dear Miss Jones, I understand there have been persistent problems in delivering to your address. For whatever reason, we have all had a massive amount of time and stress in dealing with your orders.

'I can only suggest you find another supplier… Thank you for your custom to date and with regret, Director, Coffee Plant.'

They are stressed! I can't even get a decent cup of coffee.

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