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...


Blogger pipstar said...

Ugh poor customer service is something I hate!

Like you Tisane :-), I know the value of closing on time but also know that if they close at 5 they should NOT be closed for business at 4.55.

I guess at least the Gallery provided you with a well thought out response! Hopefully the next time will be a totally different experience for you!

7:11 pm  
Blogger sequesteredgirl said...

Great letter T. Isn't it amazing how even spending some time amongst great beauty can be spoiled and overshadowed by three crabby people. Good on you for taking the time to make the gallery aware of your experience. Maybe this way it won't happen to you next time you go, or to someone else.

7:57 pm  
Blogger Tisane For One said...

Hi Pipstar,
Yes, poor customer service is bad form under any circumstances - like you said though, I hope the next time will be a totally different experience for me...

I agree that it is a good thing to give feedback on such experiences -we all should, however, also remember to give feedback when we receive good or exceptional customer service... I believe that makes a difference also :-)

12:00 pm  

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