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A Votre Service? Not So Much.
A week ago, I was asked about the best service I had ever received. I had to think long and hard (kind of sad), but it occurred to me that the best service I ever received had been at restaurants and spas. My friend took me to The Golden Door for a week once and I was ridiculously pampered and got to experience exceptional service. She also mentioned to me recently that while eating at Blue Hill at Stone Barns she had placed her bag on the floor next to her chair and a waiter then came over with a tiny stool and placed her bag on it. Later, there was a little tiny fly on the table and the waiter came over and whisked it off the table and set it free outside. Attention to detail and good service does not go unnoticed, and it makes one feel incredibly special. Unfortunately, good service often comes with a high price tag.
Last week I was shopping with a client at a big department store. I will be nice enough not to mention the name of the store, only that it begins with a B. We were purchasing a colossal amount of items: sheets, pillows, comforters, towels, vacuums, kitchen appliances, etc. We had a sales person helping us and when I walked over to try and find some euro shams I asked a different sales associate if they could direct me. She half heartedly pointed me in the right direction and suggested I ask my own salesperson for additional help. Clearly she was bothered by the fact that I asked her this question. Blasted "commission," I thought. It’s sad that these salespeople are so driven by money and not by service that they have forgotten what it is they are in the store to do: assist customers!
Our salesperson had made it quiet clear to us that he would be helping us and that if we had any questions that we were to ask him. Blasted commission I thought again. If we could have a couple of people helping us with this we could get done in a jiffy. Instead of asking an associate for help, he struggled while completing the order solo. I found this particularly frustrating since there were plenty of other sales people standing around chatting to their colleagues while our sales person was huffing and puffing while trying to fit large comforters into shopping bags. While finishing up the transaction (which ended up being a 3-foot-long receipt) I commented in passing that he could probably take the rest of the day off since he was surely happy to be finishing up a nice fat sale. He replied that sadly they only received such a miniscule commission that it hardly made a difference. Really?? Clearly, I am missing something.