Prepare to be disappointed. Customer service in an over-subscribed city

I’m en route to London and am bracing myself for the reality of ‘the nation of shopkeepers’

London shopkeepers’ best intentions to deliver great customer experience are challenged under the weight of the massive demand. With this volume of customers to serve, there’s no time for the personal touch.

And from a shop workers viewpoint, why bother? It’s a constant anonymous flow of customers and tourists you’re very unlikely to see again.

I’ll soon get used to this, lower my service expectation and be delighted if I even get a hello at the checkout. When your sights are set so low, it’s amazing how little is required to make a difference.

In New Zealand, good sales staff will greet you with a smile, look you in the eye and seem genuinely interested. Often you feel like you are the only customer in the shop or on the phone, you have their attention and it even seems personal.

When returning to NZ from a global metropolis I really notice our hometown advantage, and it takes some acclimatising. “why are they so interested when I’m just buying the milk?”

I’m already looking forward to the first few trips to the shops on my return.

4 thoughts on “Prepare to be disappointed. Customer service in an over-subscribed city

  1. Zef

    Man, you must look rich or something because I often get ignored in NZ! The one exception is designer clothing outlets, where you can’t get rid of customer service even when you’re down to your undies in the changing room.

  2. Nick

    You’re right Zef, not all Kiwi companies care enough about their inteface with the public, but their English counterparts could still learn from the friendly, personal approach here.

    For example, Flightcentre called me this afternoon to wish me well on the trip.

    This would only happen in the UK if it was an opportunity to up-sell me last-minute insurance.

  3. Simon Johnson

    I remember being sold “Anal Annihilation’ chilli sauce in Wanaka with a smile.

    Only Kiwis could market a product that has the strap-line ‘guarantees to burn TWICE!”

  4. Nick

    Sounds painful.
    Some great casual kiwi lingo has nicely crept into the marketing of some of our greatest brands too. An air New Zealand billboard pushing low fares states “BUGGER OFF for BUGGER ALL”

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