Customer service - dealing with the public

I must confess, dealing with the public is not always an enjoyable experience. We have been handling an old surplus of home appliance parts and selling them slowly but surely on eBay. These are not the types of things I generally prefer to handle, but they do have some value, so we have been doing our best. A couple days ago, a guy called asking me details about an oven switch. He said he was local and would like to come pick it up if it was what he thought it was. I told him they were buried away and I was very busy at the moment and I would have to look and call him back. Well, right now we are truly busy to the point of being overwhelmed and needless to say, I forgot to call him back. So two days later, this same guy comes into my store un-announced with an attitude and the first thing he said was something like 'The last thing I wanted to do was take two hours off work to come here - what does it take to get some customer service around here?' I didn't know what to make of him at first but then he explained who he was and why he was here. Motioning with my arm to boxes piled high all around to show how busy we were, I apologized for not getting back to him. He didn't seem to care and pointed out that his family could not cook because their oven was broken and started to bad mouth my poor service. I stood up and said something like "Sir, if you want to give me a hard time, we don't have to do business at all and you can just leave my store'. He then changed his tone and asked if he could just see the part. I went ahead and dug it out and he said "See was that so hard? I'll take it". So I rang up the purchase and gave him his credit card back and then he really laid into me. He told me what a 'dick' I was (several times) and how he hoped my store would go out of business and the only reason he was buying from me was because my price on this part was cheaper than other places and proceeded to storm out the door. So there you have it. He got a part cheaper than anywhere else and I got cursed for a $40 commission. Yes, I dropped the ball and did not call this guy back as soon as I could have. But to have someone show up on your doorstep with a bone to pick borders on a scary experience! So let this story serve as just another reason why you don't want to sell things on your own. Hire my consignment store and I will deal with the public.

 

 

Submitted by Mike on March 21, 2013

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