Have you ever had that one really bad customer service experience, you know the one that makes you so angry you want to walk out? I had that experience the other night when I had to go out in the evening, in the snow and cold, because I needed to buy a battery for the car I was selling. I went into Canadian Tire and while standing at a service desk, for awhile I might add, I noticed the two men carrying on their conversation. There was a younger man and an older man. The younger man glanced over at me, looking uncomfortable but quickly went back to the conversation he was having, no doubt with his superior. I knew that this young man wanted to acknowledge me but his superior thought it best to keep focused on what he was doing and not acknowledge me.
Looking around the store at the other employees that were in the area where I was I could quickly surmise that these employees really didn’t want to be here, hated their jobs, were probably very hot having to wear masks all shift and were pissed off with the lingering customers that were doing last minute shopping for the day. It was really disturbing to be there in that moment. I felt bad for these people. Finally the older man looked up at me, without a smile, without a greeting and asked what he could help me with. I told him I needed a battery and with a snide tone in his voice told me to go stand over where all the batteries were. I told him that there was nobody there and again another snide comment. I felt like this was the unhappiest store on the planet. The staff were miserable, rude and irritated. Right away, I thought about leadership and how this store has gone down the drain with how they manage their employees.
I recently myself, had a job while I was out of the country, but it was a virtual job so I thought it couldn’t hurt during these times for me to take a job through the winter while I was able to work on my own stuff as well. Now, this job paid minimum pay, it was not a hard job and I had many times during the day where I’d get hung up on or yelled at, and I loved it! Why did I enjoy my job? The leadership is wonderful! My boss and my supervisor are positive people that give encouragement and compliments regularly. They also gear up in the morning with getting staff competitive but not only that, throughout the shift they check in and there is a lot of laughter. For me, I like connection so talking to people on the phones was my way to do that during a time of isolation. People also tend to tell you their stories when you take the time to listen. Through this job though I learned about leadership style and management and saw the difference it makes when you connect with people and how this shifts their energy and mood.
Being a Lifestyle Strategist myself, it made me see how I want to be with clients and how I would approach my potential customers. It also made me think about a time in my past, being a single mother with a young child of six years of age with cancer and going back to work in the field of crisis and trauma being in my own crisis and trauma. You never really know what people are facing or experiencing at any given time. Everybody these days are going through some really tough times. Isn’t it time that we gave everyone that we meet some compassion and our time, our connection? Those employees that are miserable and grumpy are the soul of your company for without them you would be doing that work yourself! Should you not treat them with respect and give them an environment with which they would be excited to go to work everyday? Where they would want to smile at customers and give them attention because they are respected themselves in the workplace?
I don’t need to have a degree in business to know this is not the way to grow a company or to grow an environment in your company or business that makes your employees want to stay and work for you and give your customers the best possible service. Just some things to think about today. Stay warm all and stay safe. #IAMJoanneandthisisME, #joannehughescoaching