Monday, November 30, 2009

5 Questions Follow Up: Support Locals

A few Mondays ago I was lamenting that a local icon may close his shop in the near future. Quite saddened by this prospect, I decided that I would make sure to visit and spend money more often.

Yesterday was one such day. The store proprietor was in front and friendly as always. I went inside and as pleasant as he was, the woman behind the counter was not. Greeted immediately with, "Is there something you need?" I was taken aback. The following few moments that I spent trying to get what I needed was spent with me feeling talked down to and given the word "no" over and over. I left.

Needless to say, I am not too excited about supporting this shop further. Sad. Reviews on Yelp are mixed also.

For now, my money will stay with Rider Shack and ZJ Boarding House when I am close to home; Girl In The Curl and Killer Dana in OC; and Ventura Surf Shop in Ventura. The latter I visited over the weekend when I needed some extra straps to keep my stick on the racks. This shop was helpful and super friendly. Everyone behind the counter and on the floor was awesome.

Why does the Zuma Jay experience bother me so much? It's no secret that the economy isn't exactly the best for anyone, much less the independent shops, so why would you treat those customer that do come in like dirt? The surfing industry isn't exactly taking in money hand over fist right now either. When I walk in to a smaller surf shop, regardless of location, they are helpful and really want to earn your business. Usually. I'm not saying that someone needs to fawn all over me and wait on me as if I were the Queen herself. I do, however, expect that when I am asked a question that I don't get snooty or nasty answers.

My five questions today are:

1. When you are treated poorly at your local shop do you return?

2. If you are given bad service do you ever think that maybe it was just an off day for them and you will return to give them another chance?

3. What constitutes bad service for you?

4. At what point do you escalate a bad experience and look for a concession?

5. Should I give Zuma Jay's another shot?

UPDATE: December 1: Well, I did go back and give them another shot. I am very pleased to say that they must have been having a bad day when I last visited. The same person helped me and they were quite awesome! I'll keep spending money with them as the chance arises!


Becky Leetch said...

1. If I have received good service in the past, but poor service on one occasion, then yes, I return. If I was treated poorly on my first trip to the local shop, then no, I probably would not return any time soon.

2.Yes, sometime it could be a bad day, or maybe I was having a day where I was extra sensitive.

3. Bad service to me, is like you said, being felt talked down to. In a local shop, it's all about attitude. If you don't own the shop, then as an employee, go find some other job that makes you happy.

4. I would escalate the issue upon after having several bad experiences. It could be as little as two times.

5. I say give Zuma Jay's another chance. It's no Jay that's giving you the poor service, it's his employees. However, should I ever be greeted with a "is there anything you need?" tone, my answer would be, "I need for you to have a better attitude". Let them know that there are lots of other local surf shops that would LOVE to have your business, and mention how I'm sure how much they like having a job!

Apryl DeLancey said...

Thanks Becky. I sure hope it was an off day. I appreciate your input!

Lindsay said...

I really notice bad customer service. If it were to happen at a local store I visit often, I would let it go. In these cases, it is usually a younger or newer employee and not the owner or manager, so I guess I expect more out of certain people.

I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt and believe he or she is having an off day - who knows what's going on in people's lives.

Bad service is when I'm being totally ignored when the worker obviously has nothing to do. That really annoys me! At least acknowledge me and say you'll be with me in one minute.

I usually just let things go, unless something totally out of line happens. For example, I had hotel reservations, and the woman working gave my room away to someone who got there sooner, even though I had it reserved on my credit card and got there within the specified hours. Let's just say I got a refund out of that one.

Glad to hear you gave Zuma Jay's another shot :)

Apryl DeLancey said...

Yeah, I really hate when someone acts like you're not there. If there were no customers they wouldn't have a job - doh!

I'm glad I went back to Zuma Jay's also. Having been in retail and hospitality for many years I get quite turned off rather quickly by snotty attitudes.