Thursday, August 5, 2010

Customer Service and Shopping in St. Lucia

Well I just have to post a little post here - even though I am an eency bit busy at the moment, which is why you haven't heard from me in a while.

A few weeks aback, I posted about the drag of shopping in Castries, St. Lucia, the garbage for sale, the prices, etc...and all that I said there still stands...BUT, in the meantime, I have noticed a number of things and places that need a bit a props...

There's a lot to be said for good customer service...on a sweltering hot day when you're trawling the streets for the basics you need, what better than to step inside a shop - even if it doesn't have air con, but better still if it does :-) - and be greeted with a genuine "Good morning" and an enquiry whether they can help you with anything that doesn't sound like..."I'm watching your every move" you know, as some stores have where they follow you round and would bump into you if you so much as stopped suddenly.

Well, there's a store on Jeremie St., Castries, right opposite the posh shops in La Place Carenage - this shop's called 'Wings of Love'. When it started up, it was our first "Dollar Store" (EC$3 actually - roughly the equivalent of US$1)...now it's, well, it could be judged the nicest store in town...really.

You walk in and their are professional jewelry counters and good jewelry - on the right, there's even lovely sterling silver and semi-precious stone pieces that made me wonder if I shouldn't see if they'll carry my pieces of jewelry there. Sure there are corners that bring you back to the $3-days, but otherwise it's chock full of pretty decent items at pretty decent prices...and the staff...they greet you genuinely, warmly - you know they're a moment away if you need them and they'll happily walk the store to find what you need, help you decide - without being pushy - it's just downright pleasant!

Castries Harbour from the Morne (Wikimedia)

And it has to be said, that whoever is doing the customer service training at SuperJ Supermarkets - especially Rodney Bay Mall - they're doing a good job - the cashiers are always pleasant...ok, well 98% of the time, but who's perfect? The supervisors come quickly when needed, they help you pick up your bags...like the other day it must've been obvious I had a nasty headache...the cashier leant over and picked my bag up so I didn't have to strain...just makes your day better.

So there is hope....I even stopped by one of the temporary tents set up in the Boulevard on last Saturday morning when town was mayhem... couldn't help but smile when the young girl who'd told me the t-shirt was 20EC Dollars felt she had to apologetically explain herself, that she only told me in EC because her boss only prices in EC...she was obviously thinking I was one of the many tourists around that day...so I told her, "That's ok dahling, I only have EC, I'm local"...and instead of what you sometimes get...a look that says 'yeah right' she says "Oh, eh-eh, for true, now that you talk I can hear it but, I couldn't tell before you spoke" as she points to the skin on her arm...a bit darker than mine...all the time beaming a genuine smile...I bought another top from her too.

Like my friend Don Dewsnap pointed out...making anything change for the better needs us to say when there's something good that should be noted...so here's my quick post about some of those 'good things'.

Now I'm hoping some more of you have some positive experiences to share too...wherever in the world...what say you?

Related posts:
Quality of Island Life
Small Island Community

Don Dewsnap's ebook: Small Business Magic (not an affiliate link)