Customer service does make a difference in consumer behavior and this is a known fact. We don’t realize how easily we are affected by others and our impression on them and its affect on our behavior. There are various experiences I have with customer service that’s why I have came with the conclusion that my consumer behavior is heavily impacted on my experiences with the customer service. There are various types of customer service you could experience, and one of the worst customer service experience I had was actually in a restaurant in Lafayette. There is a restaurant in Lafayette called Bluefin Bistro. It is considered one of the proper, high-end restaurants downtown in Lafayette. Since it is a somewhat high-end restaurant, you would expect good customer service compared to the other restaurants on campus. However, I was wrong and that my experience led me to never walk into that restaurant again.
Every time I go there, the waiter/waitress always have a rather bad attitude. When you walk in, they would let you wait in the front desk to be seated for a long time while the waiters chat on the side. When they reluctantly led us to the table, they would ask what we wanted to drink. Last time i was there, the waitress accidentally spilled my water while handing to my friend her water. Usually, that would alright, knowing that these things happen. However, the waitress did not say anything at all, not even a simple apology. She simply left without a word. I had to use all the napkin on the table to wipe off the water on my clothes and shoes. I was drenched and she came after a while handing me a dirty towel she wiped the water on the floor with and expects me to wipe it on my clothes. It was ridiculous. I am not typically the rude customer, however, I believed an apology was somewhat respectful. The rest of the meal was unenjoyable mainly because I was looking if the waitress would say, or do anything but she didn’t. She simply acted as if she didn’t do anything and carried on with her conservation with the other waitress in the back. It is important that manager of restaurants or stores know that the people they choose to work there as customer service are the ultimate impression they give the customers. Customers are first in contact with the people there working in the store, eventually, these customers will react to the store according to the impression they get from the people working there.
The experience of when you walk into a store and see a friendly lady asking if you to find anything, is definitely better than walking into a store where a mean looking lady stares at you wherever you go. These impressions we get unconsciously affect our decisions whether to come back to this store or not. If we always had a good experience with the customer service, then it is most likely that we will be back again. I was in Saks Fifth Avenue, a retail store in Chicago and the customer service there the absolute best. They are usually mid-aged women who are extremely friendly and they do not give the customers any feeling of pressure. Some stores, the customer service continuously ask the customers what they are looking for, the new products, etc. as a sign of friendliness, however sometimes this overly friendly becomes bothering the customers. I hate it when I walk into the store and the server continuously follows behind me and watches what I’m looking for. That type of pressure that the people give off makes me not want to go back to that store again.
The customer service at Saks Fifth Avenue is simply the best you could ever have. They are extremely nice and they do not follow you or give you too much advice that it makes it seem like they are advertising their products. They are there when you need and once in a while, they would come over and ask if we are finding everything alright. From my experiences, I really think that customer service affects consumer behavior because consumers only buy from places that they feel comfortable. You would feel held back to buy clothes from a store where the customer service is absolutely horrible. As a result, from the retail management point of view, I really think it is important that retail stores focus a lot on training their customer service because serving people is actually not an easy task. You have to hold back your personal feelings or thoughts and keep on a friendly smile. Your patience has to be absolutely good while facing difficult customers. It is not as easy as it seems but customer service does mean a lot!