Saturday, September 6, 2014

When Helpful Isn't

Today was a strange day for customer service and me. I was in a bunch of really diverse situations over the course of the day, and while some interactions were great some were not great.

But - unlike most blog posts that start with a comment about customer service - in almost all of these situations the person on the other side of the conversation was really trying. I could tell. They weren't blowing me off. They weren't bored. They weren't trying to make a quick buck. It's just that they're help wasn't helpful.

The first was at an outdoor dog-related festival. We've been on the lookout for low-sodium dog treats ever since the pup started having issues. So I asked the guy at a booth for a local pet food company. He gave me this great rundown of how the foods they sell are organic. Great for pets. Grain free. And as for the sodium content... well... the stuff is organic, great for pets, grain free... and may or may not have added salts. But, if I want, I can check their website.

See? Friendly. Nice. Trying really hard. Not helpful. At all.

Then I was at a bank, purchasing some foreign currency. Last week, when I ordered it, the woman I spoke to asked me all the "pertinent" questions: Where am I going? (I'm not, it's a gift.) When am I travelling? (I'm not, it's a gift.) Am I sure that's enough for a whole trip? (It's not, it's a gift.) And then, thankfully, just took the order for the currency. Today, when I went in to purchase the actual currency, there was a different woman at the counter. Guess what she asked me? Yep. She hit all of those. She went on to tell me that if I want to use my ATM while travelling I need to call the number on the back of my ATM card so it doesn't get shut down. (Umm... Again... I'm not travelling.) But... wow... I am totally ready with all the questions if anyone wants to practice buying foreign currency at a bank.

At a pet food store, following up on the dog-festival Q&A, I had a very sweet (apparently bored) young woman hover around me to suggest things that I might or might not need to buy.

At a liquor store, trying to find Lazzaroni Amaretto - but unable to remember the name - I was shown to the Amaretto section. When I said "Thanks. It's obviously not here." the guy offered to have me ask other people in the store if they knew of it. So I said "It's a tall, square bottle with a red label," and they proceeded to show me small round bottles with other labels. Amaretto? Yes. What I was asking for? No. But they tried. And tried. And tried. And after about 5 minutes I thanked them for their time and went on my way.

Finally, at dinner tonight, I asked "Does that come with fries?" which was answered with "One dinner with fries. Good." Then he turned to Christopher and asked, "And you?" I took that as a yes.

Then I ate my meal with fries and came home. It seemed like the best option.

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