The Death Of Service


There is something that is bugging us here at FW Towers, and its about service in shops, it’s not what it used to be. This is because of two reasons as far as we can tell, some rubbish employees but also and much more obvious company policy.

Lets deal with the first point as it’s a good excuse to have a watch of Pretty Woman. Anyway back on topic, I think we all have a story about a bad shop assistant, I’ve worked in retail so I can also say staff all have a story about a terrible customer, and I still have two customer based businesses so I know that hasn’t changed, but I don’t want to have a go at the 99% of retail workers who actually do a good job.

So on with the second point, company money saving and policy is killing service, and here is why.

If you cut staff down to the bare bones you can’t give them the time to help people. I see this all the time, in most of my local shops there is someone on the till and that is it, nobody to help with questions on the floor, nobody to go and see if the size you want is in the stockroom as there isn’t one on the rack.

In fact a couple of shops round here have more than one floor and yet no member of staff on anything but the ground floor. If there is a member of staff that is on the shop floor usually it’s because they are restocking racks or shelves and have to do that whilst helping every customer. Whilst I’m usually more than able to pick my own things I do occasionally need help, it’s getting so annoying.

There is also another part of this that I’ve seen, which is stores that actively pursue chasing a specific type of customer, who they will devote a lot of time to but if you’re not in that demographic your like shit on their shoe. Yeah we have probably all felt that Julia Roberts moment, and it is still there on the High Street, quite often in stores with low lighting.

The simple fact is we are all equal and deserve the same treatment, if your brand is so aloof you don’t need our money because we’re a bit fat, a bit short, a bit ugly, hey good for you, buy also hey your being a dick in the way your treating potential customers.

So my advice to shops is, turn the lights up, don’t discard people, and have enough staff to actually help customers spend that pocket full of cash, because stores that make us feel valued and looked after are proven to have higher rates of customer return.

Anyway rant over, and to all you great retail workers, I salute you as I know that it’s a far from easy job and so many of you try s hard to be great at it.

About Ross Pollard

Since starting writing on my 31st birthday in 2011 I have held a number of positions at magazines and websites as well as regularly producing articles for numerous publications alongside contributing to TV & radio shows as a freelance fashion journalist including Hoxton Radio & Fashion One TV. Alongside writing, I have worked in other industries helping to design & grow digital platforms, develop businesses and support operations practices. This experience has proved invaluable in building an understanding of how businesses work, and the landscape in which retail, B2B commerce and other commercial operations develop. Knowledge of commercial interests has helped shape my fashion industry insights beyond critiquing of garments

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