So while I was gone to South Carolina for the weekend, we had a customer service mishap at the store. To help the story along, I am going to give you some background first.
We have a customer who owns several baseball card shops in the area. He also does some distribution for other products like card protectors and stuff to other stores. So he isn’t a small business. We do color copies for him from time to time, and he gets our bottom pricing regardless of quantity. He has been a customer for several years, with me bailing him out on some tight deadlines a few times a year. 3 years ago my store was sold and it turns out the new owner is a frequent customer of this baseball card guy. He spends some good coin there. So perhaps 2 or 3 months after we have the new owner, said baseball card guy starts telling us that he can get his color copies somewhere else for 30-40% cheaper that we are doing it. I tell him he got a good deal then, thanks for your business and leave it be. We are in the business of making money, not charity work, and if he really was getting it for that cheap, the guy was getting a great deal. I price shop often and never heard of anyone going that low. So baseball card guy tells the new owner that I don’t want his business. That’s not what I said, but whatever. So after a long talk with the new owner, he decided that as long as we make SOMETHING, he want to have a chance to get some of his money back, however slowly it takes. So now we do his jobs at a price about 30% lower than I would have ever given him.
OK, now on to the new bit. So while I was gone the manager of the baseball place sent over a color copy order. So on Friday, Bossman is at the counter waiting on a customer of ours who is in the music business. Nothing major, all local stuff, but he manages a few rap guys that perform locally and at one time used to have some connections in the business. He has shown us pictures of himself with some old-school rappers such as Heavy-D, MC Hammer and Run-DMC. So when he is in we often talk about rap. At least as far as our limited knowledge will let us go. While Bossman is waiting on him and talking about rap, a guy comes in the store and just waits in the lobby. A few minutes later he leaves, and Bossman didn’t know who it was or anything. Probably should have acknowledged him, maybe a ‘I’ll be with you shortly’ or something, but he didn’t.
10 minutes later the phone rings and it is the manager from the baseball shop. He starts “We have a problem. My guy was there to pick up the flyers and your helper completely ignored him for like 10 minutes while he talked about rap music with another person at the counter. This is totally unacceptable. We now need the flyers delivered.”. So Bossman replies back “Sorry about the miscue on my end there. I was the guy at the counter and was waiting on the customer, whose BUSINESS is rap, so it wasn’t just idle conversation. I should have acknowledged your guy but just to point out it was only 2 or 3 minutes before he left, not 10. Again, I am sorry that I failed to acknowledge him and we’ll drop off the flyers on Monday.” Well, as you can guess, the card manager must have went to an assertiveness training class or three and seemed to be getting his inner-Karen on. “First, ‘my guy’ was the owner so you screwed up right there. If someone in MY store were to have done what you did there would have been a writeup, retraining on customer service and possibly a suspension. It seems your customer service skills are severely lacking. I also expect these to be delivered right away since it was not us who forgot how to do good customer service. I expect them by the end of the day”. Can you say ‘asshole’? I mean I get his frustration, but the condescension was just dripping from his words. The funny part is I used to go into their store out here until a few years ago. The pricing and utter lack of interest I got from them when I was looking for 1970’s commons to fill out my sets was obvious. They had no desire to help me when the cards I was looking for might bring them sales of $.25 each. I would have to wait for them to notice I was there, then get that sigh when I told them what I wanted because they had to go in the warehouse in the back to bring up 3 or 4 cases for me to rummage thru. Waaaaaa! The first time I came in for that wasn’t bad, but once a week I would go in and grab 20 or 30 more, and each time it was harder and harder to get them to wait on me in a timely manner.
So, back to the story. Bossman, realizing that there is some sort of relationship between the owner and this card shop owner, called the owner and told him all that went on. Let me say that 99% of the time Bossman is wonderful at customer service. I hate people, he seems to relish customer service. This one time he did make a mistake, and he apologized and still got crapped on. In the end the jerk got his flyers that day, and the two owners worked stuff out. The owner of our place, however, said that he has also experienced less than stellar customer service from the card shop on occasion and told us that next time it happened, he was going to out-Karen the card shop manager. I can’t wait…