Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Customer Service

The space was obviously brand new when I walked in this afternoon. Boxes were piled in the corner, everything was shiny and new-- except for that are still outlined in blue painter's tape. The system seemed very new as well; when the automatic doors swooshed open, I was unsure where to turn.

After a lap of the store and several failed attempts to make eye-contact with blue-shirted folks at hi-tech stations, I joined the line at the counter to the right of the door. People who were clearly accustomed to the former system seemed confused-- hoping to simply drop off this cable box or that modem, they were told to hang tight while their name was entered in the customer service queue.

The young man ahead of me was quite vocal in his dismay. "And exactly how many people do you have serving us?" he demanded of the woman at the desk who ignored his question.

"What is your first name, sir?" she inquired politely.

"William!" he answered, and sweeping his arm in exasperation across the chaos of the room, added, "I'll be outside smoking!"

At about that time, the store manager relieved her of first contact duty. He expediently checked the two people ahead of me, Lauren and Richard, and me in. After that I wandered the space some more wondering if they were going for an Apple Store vibe or something else. Either way, they had a long way to go. A dozen or so people were gathered on hip couches in front of a huge screen TV showing college baseball. All of us were intently listening for our names to be called from some station scattered throughout the room.

"Courtney?" called an agent. A relieved customer practically skipped over.

"Courtney?" called someone else from across the room.

"They just called her!" groaned a young mother from the TV.

"Sorry! Mario?"

And so it went, until someone called William. There was no answer. I scanned the room. He was in the back, ear buds firmly planted. I made eye-contact with the agent and nodded my head toward the kid on the couch. "I think that's him in the red shirt," I told her.

"William!" she shouted in his direction.

He pulled out one bud. "Did someone say 'William'?" he asked.

I nodded at her. "Thanks!" she mouthed. And when it was my turn? She gave me great service!

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