Thursday, September 15, 2005

Good Customer Service Continued

I wonder how far this situation will go?

I received the following email from another person at the Art Gallery:


I have just returned from a conference to find your e-mail regarding the Margaret Preston Shop.

Please be assured that I will investigate this incident and get back to you as soon as I can.

It is a great help that you have given me the day and time of the incident.

Both the staff of the main and exhibition shops know that our policy is that the shops exist to enhance the gallery visitor's experience - even if sometimes this means things are operationally inconvenient.

Please let me apologise for the poor experience you have had and be assured I will contact you when I have investigated fully.

Manager – Merchandise and Publications

My wise husband did point something out though:

"Hopefully something good comes from this, i.e. better service for all customers. We can also hope that those 'responsible' for your misadventure get a chance to better themselves; indeed, it may have a positive impact on their personal as well as professional lives."

Do you see why I married him? :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Importance of Good Customer Service...And of speaking out

This may be a bit long so sit back and relax...

My original letter:

"To whom it may concern,

I want to inform you of my dissatisfaction with the service provided by shop staff at the Margaret Preston Exhibition on Saturday 9th of September 2005.

My companions (one of who is an Art Gallery of NSW patron) and I had been looking forward to attending this exhibition for quite some time. We were delighted by the exhibition itself and by the end of our visit were looking forward to purchasing some products. Unfortunately, by the time we made our way to the shop it was 4.55pm and so we knew that we had very little time or chance of actually purchasing anything. We decided to satisfy ourselves with a quick browse.
Imagine our surprise at being told as soon as we stepped into the shop that "We're shut now. Make your way to the exit" in a most rude manner. This was almost yelled at us from across the room by three very arrogant and bored-looking individuals - two young ladies with bright red hair and one young man. We were taken aback by their rudeness but made it known to them we only wanted to have a quick look around, and wouldn't be long. This, however, was met by exasperated looks and mumbling from those individuals.

Having worked in retail, I understand the importance of closing shops on time but I also understand that customer service is far more important than closing a shop on time. This attitude was markedly absent during our visit.

All that my companions and I wished for was the opportunity to browse some of the products, even if only for future reference. The behaviour displayed by your staff however, has led us to reconsider our support of the Gallery and if we feel induced to visit the gallery again, will do so with caution.

We eagerly anticipated and attended the Margaret Preston exhibition but unfortunately we were left with a very disappointing image of your customer service staff.


19 hours later - their response
"Dear Ms XXXXX

Thank you for your email.

I am very sorry that your visit to the Art Gallery was spoiled by the behaviour and attitude of members of our Gallery shop staff. We are all aware that working the Gallery is a privilege and that our shop people should support the Gallery’s mission in every way we can – my sincere apologies for our failure to do so when you and your friends visited.

Our Shop Supervisor is organising further training in end of day procedures to emphasise the importance of being courteous to our visitors at all times. I appreciate the clarity of your email and thank you for bringing this serious problem to our attention .

If you need any further information, or if I can help in any way please let me know.

Yours sincerely

Assistant Manager Gallery Shop"

My sister said they should give us some freebies but I will be satisfied knowing that something is being done about the situation. I'll see what happens next time I go there...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Worth the Wait?

As per my last post - my life took an interesting turn at around this time last month. It is actually quite unbelievable that it has only been a month since it happened, but I am pleased to report that I have bounced back from retrenchment quite well.

Within 2 weeks I found myself employed again (albeit being a 1 month contract) and feeling good about myself again.

Not working is certainly not as much fun as you'd think. Sure, you get to sleep in and catch up on long overdue tasks but it is not for me - unless I was super rich and even then I have my doubts...

Anyway, I have been to many interviews, had a few offers and have more job things brewing, so at least that part of my life is settling down.

But I'd like to share something with you.

A few mornings ago, whilst doing yoga in my living room, I happened to look out of our balcony window. And lo - on the tree across from my balcony, a nest was being built. Yes, a bird's nest.
Not just any bird either but a magpie's nest - which means that if you have red hair or wear red, orange or green you'd be smart to keep away (the birds have a particular aversion to these colours because they are the only ones they can see).

Notwithstanding the bird's rather fearsome reputation, I have found myself fascinated by its progress. Now, its nest is clearly distinguished from the tree's branches. And today I saw the owner sitting in the nest (laying eggs perhaps?).

I honestly feel rather privileged to be party to this small miracle of nature. Mainly because lately I have just failed to appreciate things like this anymore - I have been so preoccupied with other 'matters of consequence', etc etc.

But I feel like I have been handed a reminder; a gift. Here is an animal doing what it takes to progress to its next stage in life...a little like what I have been forced to do. And heck, if the magpie can build its nest in a week, there is no reason why I can't get on with life either...