The Coast News Group
There’s a hiring problem in this country, and the old saying, “Good help is hard to find,” may be truer than ever. Stock photo
Ask Mr. MarketingColumns

A glass of water — please!

An old reporter’s adage states, “I don’t make the news. I just report it.”

Admittedly, it sometimes feels like we’re talking about poor customer service more than just about anything else.

However, given two events that happened last night at the Carlsbad mall, the quote fits.

First, my bride went shopping at the otherwise-empty MAC counter at Macy’s. She wanted one item, which was locked in a drawer. A sole salesclerk was at the cash register, and my bride asked for help.

Rather than taking 60 seconds to respond to the person in front of her, get the item and ring it up, the clerk said, “I have to help another customer.” At this point she scuttled off, only to be spotted 10 minutes later doing someone’s makeover.

She never found someone else to help us, nor acknowledged our leaving.

We ended up at Sephora where, while significantly busier, we found sales assistance and management ensuring we were comfortable with our interactions at the store.

Exhausted by this experience, we steered to a newly opened sit-down restaurant. While placing my order, I requested a glass of water. The order came…but no water. Despite the lack of clientele, my second request for water from a different server was also not fulfilled.

In fact, it wasn’t until the third request (and third server) that I got my water.

I recognize there’s a hiring problem in this country, and the old saying, “Good help is hard to find,” may be truer than ever.

However, as the customer, I figure that’s a “you problem,” not a “me problem.”

This is worth considering as you examine your own business. Regardless of what you sell, you’re going to have internal challenges that your customers simply don’t care about. If they’re minor, they can be dealt with immediately and no harm done. But if they’re more significant, you’re going to start losing sales.

That is definitely a “you problem”!

The good news is that in today’s business environment, companies with good people can use this as a serious marketing tool. Letting customers know there’s no long waiting list, or their requests are promptly answered, or their orders fulfilled overnight, etc. are all the kinds of things customers, with increasingly short patience, will want to hear.

With that said, I wish you a week of profitable marketing.

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