Thursday, April 17, 2014

Customer Service Woes You Can Learn From

Now for a few words on good Customer Service. In the past few days, I have gotten a new perspective on why people love shopping on-line and how we can keep them coming back. 

We had been shopping for a refrigerator since our old one began acting up. After a good bit of research we found a few on line that looked like what we wanted, in our price range and color so we went out shopping. 

First stop, big box store where we have bought a whole kitchen in the past. They had the item we liked best in another color, but none in the color they want. Our on-line research had showed they did have it in another store in the area, but they say "NO, not available in this county" it has to be ordered... for middle of May delivery. No thanks! 

Next day, we go to another big box store, same story, not available in store, etc. On to the next store (different chain), They didn't have the desired item but did show us several similar, none in stock in the desired color. 

Onward! We go to the store that is in the same chain as the first one from the night before where the internet search shows they have the item and color we want in stock. Again, we are told it is not in stock and has to be ordered with delivery in May sometime. I insist that the card on the refrigerator stated that it is IN STOCK in this color. The guy reluctantly went back to the stock room and found that YES, it is in stock. Meanwhile, I find a dishwasher at a very good markdown but we have the same "not in stock" go around with it before he goes back to find that YES, it is in stock. 

Next day delivery is stated on the card on the appliances too, but it turns out that it really means, "Next day there is a truck available."   At that point, I was exhausted and accepted the 5 day wait for delivery without fuss.

Then the clincher. The sale price we had was only good for on-line purchases. I took out my iPhone and began to squint and fret, finding my way through the maze of on-line shopping with the salesman standing there looking bored. My brilliant husband saved the day by asking, "Can we do it on-line here?" "Uh, Sure " the guy said un-enthusiastically and put the info into the computer.  

Now, I don't think his lack of enthusiasm was due to his losing commission, as he was the department manager, but the fact that he had to be forced to sell us what we wanted was really galling. He didn't have to give a sales pitch to sell it to us, we came in the door knowing exactly what we wanted. Just wanted to pick it out, pay for it and go. So, next Monday we will have a working refrigerator and a working dishwasher again. Hooray! 

That must be what our buyers feel like when they encounter rough spots along the way to purchasing items from us. They don't want to see litanies of our terms and conditions, nor hear about our personal situations. They just want to pick out the item they want at a fair price and feel confident that it will arrive safely and as described. It is up to us to make that happen! 

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