January 10, 2010

Customer Service: Important? Really?

Marketing propaganda can backfire.

I am not the type who enjoys hopping in the car and heading to the mall to have a look around.

Strategic objectives are not just part of my day job. An actual map and a plan help with such excursions. No map? Not good.

Research and strategy are requisite.
The urge to shop is rare.

I had one such day this weekend. I had two specific items I wanted to purchase. I scored the first one in about twenty minutes. Four hours later I returned home having failed to accomplish the second one.

First Store (0-1)

The first store – which I found online and researched extensively – was out of stock.

The "customer service rep" was quickly on to his next avoidance.

I pushed my cart of about $75 in impulse buys next to the counter and walked out of the store.

Second Stop (0-2)

Store number two was part of a larger chain where all items are featured on a central website. To find the location nearest you, just click the "store locator" tab on the top of the screen. Items and location confirmed.

After scouring the store for half an hour, I inquired about said item. “Yeah, we don’t carry any larger items in this location, we don’t have the room”, quipped the woman behind the counter. She was quick to get back to counting a list of something clearly more important than serving a customer.

Third Shop (0-3)

The third store was also out of stock.

The manager told me that she was expecting more “in a couple of weeks”.

I thought to ask about going on a call back list. No can do.

She walked away quickly flashing her forged half fake smile.

Busy Busy.

I have worked in retail - it is very tough to be on your feet and deal with guys like me who "saw it on the website".

But are these just strange random accidents? Is customer service alive and well? Are customers important to you? Really?

business. marketing. social media. communications.

image credits: brandingtheman | thesun.co.uk

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