Thursday, March 22, 2012

And Justice For All-Sometimes a business deserves to die..

re: It's not nice to talk about the dead...

by Tammy de Leeuw
Mistress of Blend

I know it's considered poor taste to speak badly of the dead...

But when a business that deserved to die, finally does wind up with a "Space for Lease" sign dangling in its window.

It feels good to say, "I told you so."

Such was the case of Pets4All in Brentwood, California.  

P4A is the kind of business I love to hate because, no matter how many chances I gave them, they managed to alienate me EVERY TIME.

Perhaps it is wrongheaded of me to believe that people who own pet stores actually LIKE animals,.know something about them, or at the very least OWN one themselves.

P4A was the perfect trifecta of ineptitude: scowling, stressed-out manager giving customers the evil eye, indifferent employees with  little to no communication skills, customer un-friendly policies and procedures.

I like to give a business, any business, some slack.  So, I visited PetsforAll a couple of times just to make sure that subsequent experiences were as bad as the first.

Gotta give them thumbs up for consistency.  Each time I visited, I had the same experience:

There was no acknowledgement and very little eye contact (save the "evil eye") when I entered the establishment.    No one asked me if I was looking for something in particular.   Heck, no one even bothered to say "Hello."

I would gaze at the tropical fish for a half hour before an apathetic teen would half-heartedly ask me if I needed help.  Then, I would ask questions about basic care, feeding and water temperature and the employees would react as if I had just asked them to explain the Unified Field Theory.

I mention this because, maybe...just maybe it's NOT the economy tanking businesses.  Maybe it's more that in good times, bad businesses manage to get just enough of a toehold to stay prosperous.

When the money gets tighter, however, expectations tend to rise with customers becoming a lot pickier about the quality of services and goods.  With so many out of work, customers are right to believe that there simply is no excuse for poorly trained employees with sucky attitudes.

As a business owner, you are  in a fight for the hearts and minds of your customers and clients; slaving to grab your piece of the pie, however tiny. 

That's why indifference is not an option and every waking day, you need to be actively engaged in EARNING the right to serve your clients.

Question of the day: "Do I DESERVE to be in business?"

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