Catriona at the till, me at bar...
Cat is dealing with customer #1 and her many requests. Customer #1 has 3 roudy kids in the store. One is literally screaming at the top of her lungs. There is a small line forming. Cat goes to get a pastry for cust #1 and while she is doing that she takes panini from cust #2 (a regular) and pops it on the grill. Cust #1 starts yelling at Cat saying that she was there first and she should be serving her first. Cat tries to reason with cust #1 (this is where I start to hear what is going on). Cust #1 continues to berate Cat saying she is taking too long and her kids are complaining (kid has been screaming at the top of her lungs since they walked in and mum has not even tried to quiet her). I am standing there dumbfounded and customer keeps looking angrily at me. Customer #2 has finally had enough and starts yelling at #1 and they go at it. Catriona is still nice as ever to customer, but since she is frazzled she starts making some mistakes, making customer angrier (I have been there many a times).
So I jump on till so Cat can take a breather. Instead she goes upstairs to bus. She says to irate customer that she hopes she is enjoying her time here. Customer says, "You completely ruined my day! I should not have even come here!"
Later, as customer is leaving, Cat helps her with her pram. Cust says sweetly, "I feel so much better after having my coffee."
I am so glad customer #2 jumped in to stand up for Cat. I was totally dumbfounded and did not know what to say. I feel utterly wretched for not backing Cat up, and I apologized to her for it. At least after thinking through it time and again I now know what I would do if this were to happen again, and it probably would not make the customer happy. There is no reason to abuse our staff.
Josh explained it well to me. He said that we are always in a service mode and we are trained to make the customers happy, that it takes us back when we start getting abused by a customer and we may not know how to handle it.
What I want to know is, WHERE DOES THIS LADY THINK SHE IS LIVING?!?! Does she get stellar service everywhere she goes? I would bet a large sum that she is not. The UK is notorious for poor customer service. And for her to come into Starbucks, where we do strive to provide good service, and to be such a witch just really ruffles my feathers!
Ok, another customer antecdote for today. I am at the till and a customer brings up a bottled water. I smile and say, "Just that for you?" Nothing wrong with saying that. We do it all the time. Just making sure the customer doesn't have anything else in mind that they want. The customer looked up at me in shock and horror and says "Yes!" As if I had just asked her if she was sure she was a female. Cat said she had to move so she didn't laugh in front of the customer. :)