Make It Easy


Thursday, July 12, 2001

Remember kids
are customers too

Living with me is living in a seminar. Our girls have had numerous talks about being polite in society. They know what constitutes good service.

When they report bad service to me, I believe them.

Some businesses have forgotten that:

A -- Children have parents who make long-term buying decisions based upon how their kids are treated; and

B -- Children who are treated badly will remember it long after they have grown up and have children of their own.

First experience

We took our girls out for cosmic bowling. They went in to inquire, and were greeted rudely by the woman behind the counter. She glared when they asked a simple question, and barked "NO" at them.

When another girl asked a question, the woman turned her back and walked away. She did not see that my husband and I were close behind. We asked the same question and got an affirmative answer with an explanation.

Second experience

A popular kid's attraction has a rule about kids not entering without an adult. This rule is not posted, you are just supposed to know.

We had a family party. Because I was ill, I could not go in with them, but knew there were seven adults from our family inside who could vouch for them.

When our girls walked through the door, the greeting was, "Are you 18?"

My oldest tried to explain and the woman interrupted, "You can't come in."

At no time was there any attempt to solve it or allow her to contact the other adults present.

My girls called me in tears. I talked to four people there. They offered no apologies, no attempts to help, no response even when I said our family uses their establishment extensively.

They quoted the rules as if they were biblical.

Be careful when you paint all kids with the same brush.

Yes, some kids spell trouble. But all human beings deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Customers are customers and should be treated with care. You never know who they are related to, or who they will grow up to be.

Beth Terry is president of Pacific Rim Seminars.
This column is excerpted from her upcoming book,
101 Ways to Make Your Life Easier. Send questions
on management, customer service and other issues

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