Service with a smile just doesn’t seem to pay any more

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From: Pat Rhodes, Dalecroft Rise, Allerton, Bradford.

tom Richmond is spot on with his article on Morrisons (The Yorkshire Post, March 8). The present management are miles away from the original sound customer service that Sir Ken Morrison provided. We remember him handing out bunches of flowers on Valentine’s Day and tidying up shelves on a regular basis.

Mr Richmond is right when he says customers and the reputation of the store are won on the shop floor, not the boardroom. Over the past years, we have seen the quality of customer service decline with fewer staff employed but more work for them to do.

Often the shelves are half empty and the cafes don’t have enough staff to clear tables and keep the place tidy.

We have supported Morrisons for years and are proud of its origins in Bradford’s market and the way Ken Morrison built up its reputation. It is obvious some of the staff do not share this pride in its origins – the CEO of Morrisons Dalton Philips included. There is much that can be done to repair its reputation – with a bit of common sense from the board room.

From: Jeff Clarkson, Clarkson Business Strategy/Director, Business Strategy Specialists Limited, Hull.

WITH reference to Tom Richmond’s column, it was an interesting take on retail and service in particular.

As an aside, but in its own way relevant, I’ve now been involved in providing advice and support in international engineering, service and logistics since 2006 – a sector where a first class response is the absolute must in winning respect and confidence in the international markets.

I can agree with Tom Richmond entirely on one particular level – yes, at times, total lack of respect for the customer. On the other hand, the whole focus of the competitive model now used by most UK retailers is, sadly, based on teams concerned with one distinct aspect of retail logistics (nothing must get in the way – talking with customers is, often, a ‘no, no’).

While some employees are, I would agree, possibly more interested in footfall many are simply doing their assigned jobs. Short-term cost-cutting and profitability in the sector is the real problem and may well lead to long-term failure.

Ultimately, if you combine poor management with poorly motivated and paid employees, you’ll get...

There are some great small, service-orientated retailers out there, hope you find them!