Managers Need Good Customer Service Skills Too



I appreciate and expect good customer service in whatever establishment I patronize.  My expectations for managers is a lot higher than my expectations of their staff.   As a manager, I take final responsibility for everything that my staff does and does not do.  Managers should set the tone for the company.


Earlier in the week I purchased printing services online from my local office supply store. I received confirmation that my order would be complete on Friday.  Friday evening I receive an email stating that my order is in fact ready to pick up.  After standing in line for 20 minutes while a male employee cleared up the challenges with the woman in line ahead of me.  She was told her order would be ready the next day at noon.  When my turn comes the gentleman gives me 1/3 of my order.  I informed him of the missing products.  He walks away, checks online, then informs me that if I want to “shop around” my order will be ready in 20-30 minutes.  I heard the conversation with the woman ahead of me so I know that my order will not be ready in the time he promised.  I head home.


The next morning I arrive at the store about 11:00am.  Again I stand in line about 20 minutes while the employee completes another customer’s order.  The employee tells me they are behind but she will complete my order as soon as the other one is done. I tell her that I need my order today. After another 20 minutes my order begins.  Then the machine jams.  The employees tells me that she has to “play around” with the machine and she will call me when my order is complete.  They never started my order the night before!


I call the Saturday employee an hour and a half later and ask her if the machine is working.  She assures me that it is working and 2/3 of my order is complete.  She tells me that she is trying to “get the color right” on my final product and if she cannot she will send it over to another store and call me to let me know.  I don’t hear from her.  Two hours later I call the store again and a different woman answers the phone.  I ask her where to pick up my order.  She says she completed the order when she began her shift.  She apologized for misunderstanding that her coworker was supposed to send the order to a different store.  That apology was the first apology I heard.


I arrive at the store to pick up my items and the employee is polite. She gives me the 3 items and explains what she had done. Although the color is still not correct on the third product I appreciate her customer services – she completed the order and informed me of the process. I ask for the manager.  The manager is the gentleman from the night before who never started my order.  She tells him that I want to see him.  He says “is that Ms. Sanders”. She confirms.  He walks over and asks me if I have my order number.  I give him my cell with the email.  He turns to the employee and they begin to converse about the issues and who is the blame. The manager tells his employee that he is giving me a refund for the two products because I had to come to the store 3 times.  Did you get that?  He told her, he did NOT tell me.  He literally never said more than 5 sentences to me over the 2 days.  One of the sentences was “do you have the credit card you used to make the purchase online.” He never apologized nor did he reassure me that this was an unusual occurrence.  In fact, he never did anything that would encourage me to become a return customer.  I was appalled.


Not only am I not returning to that store.  I will be sending a letter of complaint up the corporate chain of command.


managers need good customer service skills





Nicki Sanders, The Packaged For Success Coach, is an Adjunct Professor with an extensive background in developing and managing internship programs. She is a skilled program manager, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and 20 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a full service training and professional development company.

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