Monday Miscellany - Customer Service and Natural Selection

By
Real Estate Agent with Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com 10301213186

Another Monday and as always various things are floating around in my mind. This week's miscellaneous thoughts that are taking up brain space include customer service and survival of the fittest/natural selection.

 

 

Monday Miscellany
Customer Service or lack thereof

 

Businesses that let customer service and experience slide often wind up going out of business. For example, you might start noticing a particular store is becoming sloppy. The nice neat stacks of clothing are a mess. You can't find items where they are supposed to be. If you try to find someone to help you, you are unsuccessful. There is garbage on the floor or the floors are dirty. There aren't enough cashiers to assist at check out. It's pretty obvious when things are not going quite as well as they used to. Those stores usually don't last much longer.

 

This is on my mind because the last two times I visited Target I noticed there were no actual cashiers. So the ten or 12 registers were empty and dark. There was, however, a set of about five or six self-serve registers and one customer service register where you could check out if you wanted to. Lines of people were waiting for both. So I got to thinking about why Target might be doing things this way.

 

I don't believe this change is being done for the customers. I'm guessing perhaps Target is trying to reduce employee costs. If you don't have a lot of registers open, you need less people and your costs could be lower. But making a decision such as this one does impact people. And not only the employees, but all the customers as well. As a customer, if I have to use the self-serve equipment, I don't want to have to wait in a line. And to be honest, I don't want to use the self-serve equipment. If I wanted to do that, unless my stop at the store was for an emergency item, I might as well just order it online and have it shipped to my house. That's because part of the store experience is the human part. In addition, there is often an issue with the self-serve equipment. It might not read a bar code correctly, or the user has to type in a SKU or the machine won't accept the store card or whatever. I'm not interested in doing it myself.

 

As to Target, the rest of the store looked fine when I was there. It's still bright and clean and orderly. But I take the lack of human cashiers to be a sign. And that sign is one of a lessening interest in customers. Which could lead to an end of this store. Eventually.

 

 

Survival of the Fittest/Natural Selection

 

Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection was focused on evolution of a species. In a nutshell, species evolve, changing as needed to adapt to the environment. Those species or even parts of the species that cannot adapt or are no longer useful, die off. So for example, wisdom teeth are no longer necessary in humans. Apparently, early people needed those teeth to chew plants, but they are not necessary any longer. And often, when wisdom teeth grow, there is no room in our mouths for them and they are usually removed. Eventually, babies may be born without those teeth, since they serve no useful function.

 

Monday Miscellany - Customer Service and Natural SelectionSo here's what I'm worried about. If our species may be at risk for losing those things we don't use, will the parts of our brains that strategize and analyze and utilize common sense some day go away? There are quite a few reasons I'm thinking about this, but let's take just one example. Warning Labels.

 

"Do not attempt" or "Do not try this at home" are often included when watching a demonstration of one thing or another. And often when those words appear, my first thought is "DUH! of course not!". So when stunt drivers are doing some sort of crazy demonstration, we need a reminder that this is a crazy demonstration and we shouldn't do it at home. Why? We all know it's stupid and crazy.

 

And those warnings are just a tiny peek into what we are now warned about. What about products? The instruction booklet for a curling iron says, among other things, "Never use while sleeping" and "Do not let eyes touch surface" and "do not use in a shower." So, it's a curling iron, a device that gets really hot so you can curl your hair. How in the world would you use while sleeping? And why would you try to curl your hair in the shower? It's WET! And of COURSE you won't let your eyes touch it!!  That thing is HOT!

 

Or what about the deodorant that can come with a warning not to spray it in your eyes. Um, first of all, your underarm while in the same half of the body as your eye, isn't really right next to it. And spraying anything in your eyes is dangerous. Does this product really need to come with a separate warning? Or what about the rotary drill that comes with a warning not to use for dental or "medical" use? Or the iron with instructions not to aim at people?

 

We all know hot things are dangerous, tools should be used for their intended use, and nothing should go in our eyes. I worry that these labels are in place because there must be enough people who do the not-so-smart thing that companies think they need to cover themselves. But back to the beginning of this line of thought. If more and more people use less and less of their brain, and if that's how we lose parts of our bodies through evolution, could we eventually wind up with a whole species who cannot analyze or think for themselves? And could it already be happening?

 

That's so scary.

 

And with that, I wish you a great week!

 

 

Originally published at thehousekat.com.

 

Posted by

 

Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat

Licensed Associate Broker, CBR®

Grand Lux Realty, Inc.

428 Main Street

Armonk, NY 10504 *

* still supporting Monroe NY, Orange & Rockland counties.

 

914-419-0270 (cell)

email: kat@thehousekat.com

www.thehousekat.com

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Rainmaker
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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

I suspect that our overly litigious society has encouraged mannufacturers who have been sued for....name that ridiculous reason...to over populate packaging with warnings....do not sniff the glue..eat the concrete...yadda yadda

Jun 11, 2019 04:24 AM #1
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Good morning Sally K. & David L. Hanson - I agree, but it's probably because people have actually done those silly things and then sued because they "didn't know!".

Jun 11, 2019 04:26 AM #2
Rainmaker
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Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

The world has definitely become more accepting of poor customer service and it is sad, people don't seem to care as much these days.

Jun 11, 2019 06:55 AM #3
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I care, Brian England , I care!

Jun 11, 2019 11:26 AM #4
Rainmaker
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing some of your observations and thoughts.

Have a great day and a lovely weekend. 

Jun 14, 2019 07:37 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Thank you Roy Kelley - I hope your weekend is wonderful as well!

Jun 14, 2019 04:10 PM #6
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh boy! I am in TOTAL agreement with you, Kat! With our crazy, litigious society, everyone seems to have to CYA EVERYTHING - even when it seems like common sense!

Reminds me of the McDonald's coffee incident - you really didn't know the coffee was going to be hot? 

Jun 20, 2019 09:54 AM #7
Rainmaker
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Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Kat,
I laughed at the part about evolving into a species without the parts of our brain to utilize common sense.  With further consideration, though, it's not all that funny. 

Customer service (or lack thereof) seems to be a common theme these day. Sad really.  I do know the cost of everything has gone up, in large part due to the increase in minimum wages. Most businesses are looking for ways to reduce human staffing. 

Jun 22, 2019 03:58 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Debe Maxwell, CRS - I remember that coffee thing, and that's what I thought - uh, it's HOT coffee!

Carol Williams - It's a little scary about the evolution idea! As for customer service, it'll be interesting to see what stores/businesses are still around in another 5-10 years. Those with great customer service probably will.

Jun 22, 2019 05:11 AM #9
Rainmaker
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Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

All the warning labels are a little crazy, but like you say, people really do these stupid things.  One day we'll all have to wear helmets just to walk down the street. lol

Jun 22, 2019 07:29 PM #10
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Everytime I see a warning "do not attempt" I laugh, Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089 . It's just so obvious to me.

Jun 23, 2019 02:06 AM #11
Rainmaker
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Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Kat,  I am amaze at all the stores, Target Walmart that are going to very few cashier in our area.  Reducing labor cost is important but not at the cost of loosing business but not when it effects a bad experience by the customer.

Jun 25, 2019 08:06 AM #12
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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

 I feel that the customer experience is the most important part of any transaction, Kat Palmiotti 

Jun 27, 2019 07:05 AM #13
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Kat:

I had to laugh at your discussion of natural selection! I can't say I have noticed big changes at Target but I don't go very often. They were certainly having significant recent issues with their computer systems!

You can be sure I will pay attention on my next visit!

Jeff

Jun 27, 2019 06:00 PM #14
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Will Hamm - as much as I use technology all the time, I'd really prefer not to use the automated check-outs.

I agree Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS - People will choose companies that provide excellent service over those that don't.

Jun 28, 2019 03:07 AM #15
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Jeff Dowler, CRS - I wonder if it's nationwide (the Target thing). Let me know!

Jun 28, 2019 03:07 AM #16
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