Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Please Complain To Me, I’m A Customer


Last night I stopped by a local convenience store after a jog at East Coast to pick up a drink.  As I stepped up to pay, the middle-aged store clerk manning the counter was engaged in an agitated telephone conversation.  I waited for almost 2 minutes before he finally slammed down the phone and attended to me.

Maybe its my openly-earnest face, but the man soon launched into a full-blown complaint about his conversation as he served me.

“That was a staff from another branch. He wanted to know when his next shift was.


“How the hell would I know? I’m not from his branch!”


“These people always like that. No brains one.”


And it went on until the transaction was completed. All the while this was happening, the following thoughts came to me:

1. Why the hell are you complaining to me, a customer? Does making yourself feel better worth tarnishing the reputation of your business?

2. It’s amazing how the actions of a staff of a franchisee can impact on the main franchise itself. Does the customer know or care if you’re a franchise?

3. It’s shocking how there can be poor communication within just a small operation.  How difficult is it to communicate to your staff when they should turn up for work? How can the owner run a business this way?

4. It’s highly unlikely that this incident would have been caught by a mystery shopper. Do business owners remind their staff that good customer service includes not unloading their woes onto the customer?

Then again, will I get a discount if I listen patiently and be sympathetic?

Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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