Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Good Ol' Customer Service

My first job, besides pulling weeds around my dad's work properties, was at Pier 1 Imports as a Sales Associate. I know the pains of working truck days, I know the stress of trying to force a customer into a credit card to save 15% on their purchase, I know the smell of cardboard, candles and more cardboard, and I can certainly spot a pissed off customer from a mile away. My second job was working as a Barista and cute little coffee shop (slightly outdated) called Moxie Java. This is where I learned about amazing foam, picked up a few steam wand burns, knew a crazy train the minute she/he spurted off an essay of a drink order, and wanted to vomit every closing shift when the dirty mop came crawling my way.

In the midst of these two customer-service based jobs, I knew one thing was true > The only way to get by each day was to smile, laugh at the little things, and remember to set the alarm when leaving. Easy Peasy! I actually love customer service. If the pay could pay my bills and guarantee me a few vacations every year, I'd catch my last breath doing something customer service related. I love people. I love talking to people. 

Here comes the catch - I find it more difficult every day trying to walk away as a satisfied customer. Workers these days are either 1) not happy, 2) stressed, or 3) just lacking the necessary skills to work with people. Here comes the next catch - This customer service-free world I'm currently witnessing seems ever-so bumped up a few notches in Baltimore. That's right. Call me the Grinch from the West, but this town is a rough one to find a smile and a "please come again."

But, I found a gem, an outlier, a little treasure tucked away here in Charm City. I found a place that needs to set the standard for the rest of the customer service world out there. I'm talking about a little place called Trader Joe's! Oh My Amazing! This place is too good to be true. It's also right next to my office, which makes it a convenient stop when trying to figure out what's for dinner, but also the perfect fix for my disappointment in every other people NOT pleasing stores. 

No matter the time I walk in (somedays it's 8:00am, somedays it's 8:00pm), I am always greeted with a smile, encouraged to try their demo of the day, made sure I found everything I was looking for, always prompted to move to a smaller check-out line, and my favorite thing of all - the only place that doesn't sigh when I asked for $10 in quarters. It's rough paying for every load of laundry, but it's life. Trader Joe's employees know about life, they appreciate their customers, and quite frankly I think they sincerely love their job!

So if you're finding yourself swimming in the same world that I am, a world lacking in customer service, then please drive, bike, walk, blade (however you get around) on over to a Trader Joe's. I promise and pinky swear you will walk away with a smile and of course some of the most amazing treats around town.



  1. So true! I love Trader Joe's! Sprouts was the same way back in Colorado. I miss you Britt! How's the new apartment?

  2. I'm pretty sure that Trader Joe's top manager would love to know that you feel this way about the service they provide customers. I think they need to know...Heck, what an it hurt. ;)

  3. I meant to say "Heck what can it hurt" ;) Love your post.

  4. I LOVE Trader Joe's :) You're right, everyone there is super friendly and excited about life and outgoing. Maybe it's their Hawaiian shirts!

    I know what you mean though- I used to work at the Limited Too at Towson Mall. Good customer service was shoved down our throats the minute we were hired and it showed! We always had smiles on our faces and friendly attitudes while we pushed glittery clothes on stylish tweens. It actually turned out to be a really fun job! But shopping anywhere nowadays, it's rare to even get a smile from a worker. I try to be extra nice to those workers though, just in case they've had a string of mean customers or something. hope you're doing great! :)