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Young Guns


2/20/2008

 

I hate to break it to you, Mike Demers, but your generalizations of people age 25 and younger in your column What’s Wrong With Customer Service? portrayed a very poor example of the majority of working young people today. I happen to be in the demographic of people whom you described as “lacking in customer service skills,” and I feel that making this generalization after a few bad experiences with a handful of 20-somethings results in a very weak argument.

In your column, you provide an example of a friend who ordered a game cartridge online. He didn’t pay for it online, so he had to go to the retailer to purchase it and take it home. OK, so far so good.

Your friend then finds a coupon in the newspaper for a discount on the game and takes it into the store to redeem it on his ordered item. The young cashier explains that he can’t receive the discount because the game was ordered online and your friend becomes angry. What I don’t understand is that your friend would have to go into the store anyway to purchase the game, so why order it online in the first place? He could have

redeemed the coupon without any problems if he simply would have gone into the store and picked the game right off the shelf to begin with. Whatever happened to a simple phone call to ask if the game is in stock? To say that it was the young employee’s fault isn’t fair. If the employee was 40, 50 or 60, your friend would still be mad and have what he might call a “bad experience.”

You “old guys” think you know it all and are the best at what you do, but guess what? There is a generation of us 25 and younger growing smarter and stronger every day. The “children” of OBDII are now the fast movers, and we are seeing the old “points and condenser crowd” start to break down. I think us young people deserve more credit than you older guys give us. A poorly trained employee and non-educated customer will almost always result in disastrous results for both parties, but that certainly doesn’t depend on age.

Providing excellent service to my customers is my top priority. I frequently get told how nice it is to deal with a young, enthusiastic employee who provides a fresh outlook on the industry. Have your glory till AARP gets your money.

— Jonathan Van Dorn

ALL SMILES

I thoroughly enjoyed Mike Demers’ article "You Might Be a Parts Pro If..."

All the things he mentioned are true. How about this one: You know you’re a parts pro if you know what an “opinion bearing” is? Thanks for the humor to brighten up the day!

— Sue Evans, Fisher AP, Oakland, MD

A HELPFUL TOOL

Counterman is a very good tool to have when working in auto parts sales because I get so many people asking about product. I can almost always find some helpful information in the pages of Counterman.

— Leslie Hemmingway, Parts Sales Manager, AutoZone, Brockton, MA

  Previous Comments
avatar   Paul   star   6/20/2009   6:55 PM

Customer service is definately the Top Priority. However, I disagree that blindly saying that "The customer is always right" is the way to go. Go into the conversation assuming it is true, but keep your mind open especially if it involves a return of some sort. I had a customer order 8 plugs for the wrong vehicle, install 3 of them (damaging the threads) and try to return all of them as new. Everyone probably has a similar story. If the customer is always right, then they can return whatever they want w/ or w/o a receipt. Be open minded, fair and use your customer service skills to make the customer happy. Don't let them abuse you or your company.



avatar   philip   star   6/6/2009   9:34 AM

well i see few people seem to truly understand this subject again. start eating some crow and just worry about your customers needs not how age versus age is.without happy customers you do not have a pay check



avatar   betie   star   5/19/2009   3:41 PM

LOL... I almost used the caps lock for that one, i just get a little edgy when subjects like this come up... both young and old are valuable in our industry...



avatar   Cliff   star   5/18/2009   1:10 PM

Betie, the caps lock is on the left hand side of the keyboard. Please use it.



avatar   Betie   star   5/14/2009   5:21 PM

Okay guys, lets all stop and think a minute... i know how valuable the "older guys" information and experience is and i honestly think that majority of the "young guns" feel the same way and the ones who do not need to open their eyes. and at the same time the "older guys" who don't see the "young guns" as a valuable source and a necessary part of the growing industry need to open their eyes too... we all need to learn to work with each other and share what information we have and be willing to use the information presented to us no matter if it is coming from a "young gun" or and "older guy"...



avatar   Dan   star   5/5/2009   4:50 PM

What many of you seem to miss, is for a company to have a policy to advertise discounts in the newspaper and then exclude online orders from the discount is asinine! Obviously this company just doesn't care that much about it's customers or the service they provide them. As to the age question: I'm 55 and didn't reply when I first read the article, but I did disagree with that portion of his article. I started in this business at 17 and had to earn the respect of customers and coworkers alike. I did so by working hard, studying hard, and treating customers the way I like to be treated. Age is not the issue, work ethic, knowledge, courtesy, and professionalism are the key ingredients in customer service.



avatar   CHRIS   star   3/27/2009   8:57 PM

HERE'S SOMETHING FOR BOTH YOUNG AND OLD. COMPANIES HAVE POLICIES FOR ONE REASON FOR YOU TO FOLLOW THEM,NOT TO BREAK OR BEND THEM.YEAH IT COULD MEAN THAT HE NEVER GO BACK IN THAT STORE AGAIN.BUT LOOK AT THE FLIP SIDE OF THIS IF HE HAD GIVEN THE DISCOUNT AND HIS BOSS FIRED HIM FOR VIOLATING COMPANY POLICIES I SERIOUSLY DOUBT THAT THE CUSTOMER IS GOING TO START PAYING HIS LOST INCOME.YEAH THE CUSTOMER IN A SENSE PROVIDES YOU WITH AN INCOME,BUT I DON'T SEE JOHN DOE ON MY CHECK I SEE MY COMPANIES.



avatar   Paul   star   3/25/2009   3:59 PM

JC the point was that the customer would have had the 'bad experience' no matter what the age the employee was, not whether the discount should have been give. And don't try to tell me that an 'old guy' would have known to give him the discount. That dog won't hunt.



avatar   BETIE   star   3/21/2009   3:27 PM

AND YES THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT, AND CUSTOMER SERVICE IS MAKIN THEM HAPPY AND KEEP THEM COMING BACK!



avatar   BETIE   star   3/21/2009   3:24 PM

SERIOUSLY GUYS, BOTH YOUNG AND OLD I AM A 22YR OLD WHO HAS BEEN IN THE PARTS BUSINESS FOR 4 YEARS AND AM BY ALL MEANS A "YOUNG GUN". HOWEVER I AM ALSO IN CHARGE OF ALL THE ACCOUNTS THAT RUN THROUGH MY STORE.. I DO THE SALES CALLS, DEAL WITH THE ****** OFF ACCOUNTS, CUSTOMER SERVICE IS WHAT I AM BEST AT... NOT ALL "YOUNG GUNS" ARE GOOD AT IT AND NOT ALL "OLD GUYS" ARE GREAT AT IT EITHER... IT IS ALL A MATTER OF WHO CARES ABOUT THEIR CUSTOMERS AND WHO WAS TRAINED PROPERLY. I LOOK UP TO THE "OLD GUYS" FOR THEIR KNOWLEDGE, BUT I KNOW A LOT OF "YOUNG GUNS" WHO ARE STEPPIN UP TO THE PLATE LIKE I AM! IT DOES DEPEND ON THE PERSON NOT THE AGE.



avatar   JC   star   3/21/2009   12:37 PM

Another "Young Gun" missing the point again. Customer Service is what it is all about. A happy customer WILL keep coming back and will tell others. Guess you "Young Guns" haven't figured this out yet! Perhaps your boss will get angry and write you up if you don't follow the policies, my guess is he/she is still a little short sighted. People buy from people...and to go the extra mile really pays off in the long run. Now as for "This article has nothing to do with your wealth of information" you guessed wrong. Just passed some off to you. Bottom line....Customer is always right!



avatar   KH   star   3/19/2009   10:00 PM

Here is a prime example of an "old guy" missing the point. This article has nothing to do with your wealth of information. As for the discount, there are policies people have to follow. If you don't follow them, perhaps your boss gets angry and writes you up. Sorry, but your mild discount in the name of customer service is not worth my job/good reference.



avatar   JC   star   3/11/2009   3:51 PM

Here is a prime example of a "Young Gun" missing the point about customer service. Why not give the customer the discount anyway? Where are the customer service skills in telling the customer "NO"? As far as "I think us young people deserve more credit than you older guys give us". Credit and Respect are just two things in this life that are Earned not given. Just remember that "us old guys" are a wealth of information, that sooner or later you will ask for.















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