A couple of days ago, there was a blog post on one of my friend Sire's sites, one that I won't highlight here (he knows why), but will highlight another, on a customer service issue. Basically he talked about this post on Jim Kukral's blog, where Jim talks about a particular company that provided bad customer service, and now he's outing them to the nation. His final statement is that he will never go back to this particular store, and I understand his consternation.

Sire's take on this was that Jim should have asked to speak to a manager, then taken the time to describe what issue he had and how he was treated. I had to think about this some, because I realized that over the past few years, I've handled things the same way that Jim has. I talk a lot on this blog about good and bad customer service issues, but I've rarely talked about how one should probably handle them when we encounter them. I've always concentrated on how we should handle them if it's our employees that commit sins; I've been negligent on addressing the other side.

Truthfully, once I thought about it, I'd have to admit that Sire is absolutely correct. We should probably get in touch with a manager whenever we can to complain about the service before we make a decision on whether we'll patronize a certain store in the future or not. As a for instance, there was a store that I'd given up on for a couple of years, but found myself having to go back one day because they were the only store in town that had the particular item I wanted, and, two years later, all the personnel had changed and the store was still one of the coolest I'd ever seen, and I enjoy going once more. Had I addressed the issue that day, things might have been better for me much sooner, and I wouldn't have lost two years of seeing some of the newest technology.

Of course, sometimes it doesn't work. A friend of mine had an issue at one store and was told there wasn't a manager available; I confirmed that at a later time. Sometimes the manager can be a jerk also. But at that point, you know it's not just the individual but the culture of the establishment, and you can walk away knowing you not only had your say, but knowing that you're going to warn every person you meet about what you came up against, because that's just what we do.

True, walking away can be effective also, but I think that sometimes we have to weigh what's the lesser of two evils as it pertains to us; if it's something we'd really like, they we should take that one more shot at getting it right for our own benefit.