So, I suppose I should get right to the point… I recently had a customer who paid for his purchase in cash and looked for a place to discard his $0.18 cents in change. He asked if we had a “Tip Jar”, the look of sheer shock much have crossed over my face (much like a sandrails tread on a Pismo Dune) as I simply said, “we don’t have a tip jar here, we’re not that kind of business”. The nice gentleman said “oh I thought all retails independent shops had those – you provide a service so you should have a tip jar”. I smiled and sort of chuckled because as much as he was being sincere and thoughtful, insinuating to my customers to contribute to a jar of money for a service that I feel is already a free genuine compliment of daily business-as-usual was so absurd. In fact, I cannot even fathom such a thing.
It seems everywhere you go you see tip jars. You see them in retail chains, independent mom and pop cafe’s and every once and again you’ll see a sign on a tip jar that reads “Tipping is Good Karma”. Ummm OK … WHAT??? So now I am being guilted into contributing into the vessel of paper and metal currency for customer service which may or may-not be very good. I want to think that the person behind the counter isn’t going to take note and mess up my order or something worse… I really have a hard time buying into that program.
I am the biggest fan and evangelist of customer service, I feel that is what brings people back to visit us in the gallery or to purchase art or retail products from us is the fact that we have quality friendly and no hassle awesome customer service… in fact I believe the general public thrives on it, they love it and either consciously or unconsciously experienced a positive experience and it makes them feel great.
So, is it my imagination or is customer service becoming the lost art of retail business? It seems only natural to me to greet people when they enter the gallery and to let them know that we are here to assist without making them feel hunted or followed throughout the gallery. Making sure that people feel like they’re appreciated. A kind thank you accompanied by a smile is one of the best things you can experience in a daily routine. It’s free and meaningful.
Now if you ask me – this is the best tip and in my opinion, that’s good karma!