Customer Service is NOT an Old Fashioned Value
In the past few weeks, I have had some run-in with the service I have received as a customer. Most of it very good, but some, makes me wonder why I was spending my money there. One place lost a sale because of it.
Let’s start with the good stuff. Here I will name names. When I had my oil changed a few weeks ago at Al’s Certified Auto Repair in Augusta, I waited around for the work to be done. Normally I just drop the car off and go. But I sat there flipping through current magazines (side note: that is a big deal, current magazines I actually want to read) and listed to Barry and Al deal with customers.They were just nice to everyone.They cared about the problems. They wanted to make sure customers had a ride to where they needed to go that day.
I was at Tractor Supply in Augusta and made an offhand comment to an employee who then pointed out some other things that may be of interest to me. They were, and I left VERY happy. (I can’t tell you more because it has to do with gifts for Christmas..shhh).
I picked up a piece of furniture recently at Northern Mattress in Augusta…and again…total customer service as they helped me getting what I needed, getting it in my SUV and doing it with a friendly attitude and a smile.
However, there have been some not so great things that have happened. Here I will not name names, but tell my story. I ordered something online because their website showed it was in stock. It was not. OK. But then the company did not give me a ship by date or anything like that to save the sale. They just said they were going to cancel my purchase unless I called them. I wanted the item, but since they would not tell when I MIGHT be able to get it…I had to move on.
But the latest issue was about a bad attitude an employee gave us while shopping. This person could have answered the question and addressed our concern/problem with some tact, but did not. This was a problem that affected not just me, but many other customers in the store. It was one of the times we have all fantasied about…”If I only knew that persons boss” I would call and …blah, blah, blah. Well, the thing is, the person I was with knew this employees boss’ boss. I don’t know how that story ended up. We finished our business and went home.
But we were not asking for any special treatment, we just voiced what many others in the situation were also expressing. In this case, there was an action that could be taken and we took it. We were no more important that anyone else, we, in this rare case had a voice. Each and every one of those customers was as important as me and deserved some respect; even it was just simply some acknowledgment of the problem at hand.
Customer service is of value, no matter the place, no matter the venue. Even if that customer service is to say, “Hello” as I walk in and let me look around. It’s just about having your customer be comfortable in your store or on your website.