Old-fashioned customer service fading from society
By Beth Scott
COSHOCTON – Th ere was a time where customers could
walk into any store on Main Street in Coshocton and
receive service with a friendly smile and a hand shake.
Th ose days are quickly becoming a thing of the past as
the internet and online sales through popular selling
sites have taken the customer service out of shopping.
While online sites promise fast and friendly service to
its customers in need of help, that will never compare
to one-on-one human interaction and personal rela-
tionships between customer and shop employees that is
formed over the years.
Greeting customers when they walk through the door
and oﬀ ering friendly and eﬃ cient customer service is
something that Steve Murray of Carroll’s Men’s Shop
strives to achieve.
“Service is something you can’t buy,” said Murray.
“People anymore don’t care about service. Th ey buy
everything online. We are just old-fashioned people and
we care about service. Th at’s what we strive for. People
know when they come in here, they are going to be taken
Murray started working at Carroll’s in April 1967 and
bought the store in 1984, carrying on the traditions of
original owner Tom Carroll. Carroll’s sells suits, dress
shirts, ties, and started selling sporting goods in the
1970s. Th ey also rent tuxedos.
“I learned from Tom to be kind to people and oﬀ er them
what they want,” said Murray.
Unfortunately, partly due to increased internet sales,
Contributed | Beacon
old-fashioned customer service hardly exists in the world
“Th e really big thing is the internet,” said Murray. “It’s
convenient for customers to order 24/7, but there’s no
customer service. If it doesn’t ﬁ t, you have to send it back.”
Murray said that many people in the business world
don’t dress the way they
used to. Employees and
managers alike always
wore a sports coat and suit
to work each day.
“We just want to get the
out that we oﬀ er great
services and if customers
have a problem, we will
try to take care of it,” said
Another men’s clothing
store that used to be in
Coshocton was Buckeye
Clothing on Main Street.
Kenny Grier started work-
ing there in high school and
eventually, worked his way
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up to manger.
“Th ere were three or four stations throughout the main
fl oor and the cashier was in an elevated portion and they
had these tubes overhead like they have at the banks,”
said Grier. “All of the change was handled at those three
stations. Th at’s where you would pay for your items, and
all the money would go into these tubes and wired over to
the cashier and she would make change and send them
Buckeye Clothing oﬀ ered men’s clothing that was a
higher standard with brands like Leatherneck and Palm
Beach. Th ey also sold men’s hats in which Stetsons was a
“Th at was back when you had a lot of businessmen from
Shaw Barton and companies where the norm was to wear
a suit and tie,” said Grier. “You never see any hats any-
more. In the summer, men would switch from felt hats to
Grier said that the one thing he enjoyed the most about
working at Buckeye Clothing was the people and the
relationship he developed with the customers. He also re-
members the large glass window in the front of the store.
“When I was the manager, all across the front Main
Street entrance was a large glass display window,” said
Grier. “We would always put in the appropriate style of
clothes for that season. One thing I enjoyed was dressing
the window displays.”
Buckeye Clothing oﬀ ered suits, hats, dress shirts, ties,
gloves, and anything else a man would need to look his
“It’s changed because everything is done from home
online,” said Grier. “I remember they also had in the
1950s, whenever you bought something, they’d tear oﬀ a
tax stamp. You’d pay for an item and if it was taxed, you’d
pay eight or 10 cents. Th e merchant would have stamps
and they’d tear those oﬀ and give to you.”
Grier also remembers Main Street used to look a lot
diﬀ erent than it does today.
“Main Street was busy,” said Grier. “Th ere was a lot of
competition in each type of store. Th ey had ﬁ ve and dime
stores, Woolworths, JJ Newberry, and O’Neils that oc-
cupied a good portion of Main Street. Th ere were two or
three women’s hats stores that sold nothing but women’s
hats. Th ere were three or four shoe stores.”
Unfortunately, the days of old-fashioned customer ser-
vice have been replaced by online convenience.
“It’s a shame,” said Grier. “I know time marched on, but
it’s a shame now that they’ve lost personal contact with
each other. It’s very impersonal now with buying every-
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