Customer service, Rocket Market-style:
Us: "You wouldn't happen to have any bottles of Black Butte XXIII in the back?"
Employee, looking oddly annoyed: "Black what?"
Us: "Black Butte XXIII."
Employee, looking and sounding downright angry: "How is that any different from Black Butte?"
Us, probably looking mildly uncomfortable: "... it's a special release... #23..."
Employee, wondering why we aren't just picking up some PBR which in his mind would be pretty much the same thing: "So what? We don't have it."
A few points:
When you go shopping at a place like Rocket Market, you're shopping for premium groceries at a premium price. With that you expect premium service; professionalism.
The fact that this clerk knew jack about beer was one thing, although he should at least know their inventory as Rocket specializes in libations.
Another thing all together was that he couldn't be bothered checking in the back for the beer, or calling someone for help. Being a rude douchebag about it didn't exactly make the situation better.
In terms of business it should be straightforward: Take care of the customers and they will come back. Be a jackass and they won't.
And we won't, at least not for a while. This kind of lack of customer services doesn't fall just on the employee, it falls on the management. Why be treated like dirt when there are plenty of other options? Huckleberry's (where we received great service when asking the same question), Main Market, JB's, Enoteca, etc. etc.
With the Facebooks and the Twitters, bad word travels quickly these days. In less than an hour, thousands could read that Rocket Market has bad customer service. That doesn't mean much as far as a one-time incidence goes, but if people start noticing a pattern...
How can a local business prevent that from happening? Train your employees. Make sure they show common courtesy. Respect the customer.