Ozark Zombies?!!

We just had to share the article below from Kathy Shook about Ozark Zombies and a poor customer service experience.  Enjoy!

 

by Kathy Shook

Recently, we visited a family entertainment park in the Branson, Missouri area.  If you aren’t familiar with the Branson area, it’s very well known and zombie_1marketed as a family-oriented, old-fashioned, down-home friendly kind of place.  So you start out with certain expectations of friendly and special customer service.

We started out with a great experience…entering the park, our tickets were taken by an older lady with a gigantic smile and even greater attitude.  “Howdy and welcome to xxx!” she told us as we walked in.  She made a quick conversation about our hometown and warmly wished us a fun day in their park.  So we entered feeling wanted, upbeat and ready to have fun.

However, it wasn’t long before we discovered the “zombies.”  As we stood outside the entrance to one ride, we looked lost and confused.  We were trying to figure out just exactly where you entered the ride and how long the wait was.  We were approached by an employee who immediately stated gruffly:  “You can’t take that (my purse) on this ride, you have to rent a locker over there,” and pointed as she turned away.

No nice greeting, smile, offer to help…just a very firm denial of entrance.  Like a zombie:  “you can’t go in”.

Later, we decided to eat some lunch and stood in line for a BBQ stand.  An older gentleman was working alone with definite negative body language.  Hunched over, head down, never looking up at customers and barely speaking:  “Next!”, “What do you want to order?”, “chips or beans?” etc.  It was quite clear he did not want to be there doing that job and had zero interest in his customers.

Finally, as most parks do, when you leave they require you to walk through a large gift/souvenir shop.  We stopped at a counter to get bottles of water for our drive home.  And here we found the real zombies:  two elderly ladies were working and again, they had the zombie posture.  One was cleaning, the other working on the register.  There were no other customers ahead of us and we stood there a while before either one looked up…it seemed like a good ol’ western standoff:  who was going to cave in first and wait on the stupid customers??

We requested our 2 bottles of water and the cashier, got them, set on the counter and said, “$5.04”.  She turned to her register and held out her hand as we dug out the money.  Not another word was uttered as she took the cash, handed back change and turned away from us.  She practically growled at us!

And that, folks, was our parting experience in this park…we left feeling ignored and unwanted.  Not exactly the same feeling we got as we entered…the “zombies” took care of that quickly and efficiently.

Do you have zombies in your company?  Employees who just go through the motions with little or no emotion or real connection to customers?  I hope not…because you can see just how they make your customers feel.  Unwanted.  Unhappy.  Unappreciated.  And you can bet they will share these feelings with others.   I guess that’s better than real zombies who eat brains…but not by much.

Make sure you don’t have “zombies” at your company – visit Shoppers, Inc. for tools and helpful information.

 

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Learn how to make your company a leader in customer service – contact Shoppers, Inc. at 800-259-8551 for more information on Service Quality Institute programs.

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