As I sit here sifting through (e)page after (e)page of flooring options on Amazon for the bathroom renovation I’ve been working on
for the last several months, I’m reminded of the reason why I haven’t gone back to a physical store to explore options. I recently popped over to a local flooring store to explore their offerings and was met with the worst customer service that I’ve ever experienced in my life. I only wish that I was exaggerating.
Within thirty seconds of walking into the store, I was met by (let’s call him) Bob (fitting, since it’s part of the name of the store). He, like any good sales rep, was quick to ask me if he could help me find anything in particular. I told him that I had come by in search of patterned floor tiles for my bathroom.
He seemed confused. I’m not sure why.
His tone shifted.
“You’re going to have to be more specific,” he said, “what exactly do you mean Pah-turn-d tie-ull?” He asked.
At this point, I already knew that I had zero interest in doing business with someone that speaks to their customers this way. Nope. I really did want to see what options they had, so I decided to respond to him.
“Well,” I said, “I mean tile that has a pattern on it”.
He brought me over and showed me some white tiles since those, obviously, are patterned, and asked me if that was what I was looking for. Much to his shock, it wasn’t.
He seemed exhausted and was clearly not in the mood to continue our conversation so I thanked him for his time and left.
Is customer service a lost art?
This guy was unbelievably rude to me. It wasn’t even necessarily what he said but how he said it. I wouldn’t have been upset if they didn’t have the kind of tile I was looking for, I understand that. Not everyone carries options that are unique in a world where people generally decorate with a sense of conformity. I get that, truly.
Maybe he was having a bad day. Maybe I reminded him of an ex. Who knows. The bottom line is that he felt that it was okay to make his bad mood my problem and that’s not okay.
I’m a firm believer that the way you carry yourself says a whole lot about the kind of person you are on the inside. If you’re entrusted to represent a brand, no matter what your role is, you should represent it to the best of your ability. Present yourself in a professional manner, be kind to others, think before you speak, and – – for goodness sake, don’t talk down to anyone. Ever.
I talked to my seven year old afterwards about the experience I’d had at the flooring store. Not because she was there or because I wanted to complain to her. Rather, I saw it as an opportunity, a teachable moment where I could discuss how we treat other human beings in this life.
So, whether you’re working with others or out in the world, choose kindness. Treat others with respect. And do the right thing.