We have turned into a group of inconsiderate, rude, thoughtless, disrespectful and egocentric miserable people. The worst traits of one’s personality show when presented with a “great deal” on a TV, toaster oven or pair of sneakers. Surely, Black Friday shopping brings out the worst in us.
In ever increasing frequency, the news reports covering the past few years’ Black Friday sales have focused on the “great” prices to be had on items me “must” have. These reports are now overshadowed by the lunacy of shoppers from all corners of our great land detailing the fights, scuffles, arguments and mayhem our once-respectful shopping public now partake in.
Black Friday is the only shopping holiday with its very own death count:
10 deaths, 105 injuries since 2006 with an honorable mention to the Texas pair who “beat, strangled and set on fire an assistant store manager to steal thousands of dollars of Black Friday sales” and the California father charged with the vehicular manslaughter of his two daughters, when, after only three hours of sleep in 24 hours, he crammed his four children into the back car seat designed for only three. According to reports: “A seat in the third row was folded down to make room for the family’s purchases.” *
What has caused this?
Some say it’s the fault of the retail shopping industry that “creates” this nasty mindset when they give such steep discounts on their products.
Wow, just because I can get a $1000 television for $400, I’m now allowed to push a woman out of my way or steal the last available video game system from another one’s cart when he isn’t looking? I’m sure that makes no sense…
Others say it’s caused by unemployment, stagnant wages or the inability for some to afford the purchase of these “necessities” at their regular prices so they “are forced” to fight for their right to get them now.
Listen, no one is forced to camp out on the curb for 5 days in frigid temperatures outside their local Walmart or Best Buy store and make their children take turns manning the line while waiting for the doors to open – just to buy a 5 piece pots and pan set.
Here are some headlines from Black Friday 2017:
- “Seasons Beatings: Shoppers punch, kick, scream; baby hit with shoe”
- “Customers wear employee uniforms to sneak into stores”
- “One shot outside mall; brawls shut another”
- “Men squabble over toy car”
I read one article about a family that goes to Macy’s every year on Back Friday. The woman said “The discounts are about the same, but we like to come just to be here for the family time.”
Family time, in Macy’s? Is this what our society has boiled-down too?
Regardless of the reason for this insanity, can we assume that the people that “must” take advantage of these sale days, and resort to pushing, fighting and being rude to their fellow shopper can then go back to their regular job on Monday and once again become an upstanding member of society and provide great customer service to many of the exact same people they just barreled-over just 2-3 days before?
Not on your life!Great customer service is more than “something you do”. It’s a mindset. Click To Tweet
You’ve read these exact words here many times before.
I long for the days as described to me by the neighborhood elders during my youth:
- Business deals were done with a handshake – no lawyers needed.
- You gave an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay – no one tried to cheat you out of hours.
- Neighbor looked out for neighbor and didn’t steal their FedEx package off their doorstep.
I have been in the customer service industry most of my life and can clearly see the difference in how it is now provided.
Few businesses see the benefit in providing more than a “one-and-done” type of service training if they provide it at all. They don’t see the value in creating a long lasting relationship based on decency and respect for the customer.
Ever hear lines like these?
“Don’t like what we sell, then go somewhere else”. “Oh, the price on the sales circular must have been printed wrong, there’s nothing I can do about it”. “I can’t do that, hey, I just work here”.
How can we expect anything else when the store “customer service attendants” act very “non-customer service like” when they’re out shopping themselves? It won’t happen.
Let’s get back to using phrases like these:
- “I’m happy to help you”.
- “Yes, of course I can do that”
- “It’s my pleasure”.
- “Thank you for your business”.
- “Here, let me get the door for you”.
- “May I help you with your bags?”
- “Oh, please, after you”.
- “Have a great day, come back again”.
And let’s put civility back into shopping and customer service…and forget the stores on Black Friday.
No wonder Jeff Bezos and Amazon are making such a killing…