5 on Your Side

Two stores, two DIFFERENT stories in customer service!

Posted June 2, 2010 4:46 p.m. EDT

I just took a quick break and ran over to Cameron Village to do some errands! WOW! Two stores-- two COMPLETELY OPPOSITE experiences in customer service! I just had to share!

At the first store, I needed to make an exchange. An oddity for this particular chain-- I was not acknowledged as I walked in and never even saw an employee as I hurried through two sections to the back of the store. I found what I needed on my own and headed to the register where the clerk was on the phone. I stood back a little-- guessing she was helping another customer, talking to another store or to a corporate exec! But then, with the phone now wedged between her shoulder and neck, the clerk looked up with an expression of “what do you need?” So I told her. She took the items and started talking. I wasn’t really sure whether it was to me or the person on the phone! She was actually talking to BOTH of us, almost simultaneously! She stayed on the phone for just about the entire transaction! She hung up only in time for me to sign the final receipt, and as she hung up-- she told the person on the other end something like, “see if you can find the Winnie the Pooh bag.” I’m pretty confident that call was not work related! Some people might call it multi-tasking. I think it’s rude and VERY POOR customer service! Either have me wait or get off the phone! I prefer the latter.

Juxtapose that with a problem I had with a broken clasp on a necklace I got from another store there called Handpicked. The second I walked in-- the smiling clerk said “hello” and asked if I was looking for anything in particular. I pulled out the necklace and before I could even say what happened, she happily explained she could fix it, RIGHT THEN, so that it would never break again! She added new clasps to BOTH sides, holding a bubbly conversation the entire time! She was so darn friendly, I decided to “double dip!” I asked her if she could review sales records and tell me whether I truly purchased a pair of earrings I thought I bought, but can’t find.(I’ll have to explain THAT dilemma in another blog!) No hesitation at all! She looked it up and confirmed my purchase from a YEAR ago! Talk about EXCELLENT customer service! I think it’s more important than ever in these times of limited funds and multiple choices! Companies need to pay attention and treat their customers with concern and respect. What do you think? Certainly you’ve had some good and bad customer service experiences! What happened? I want to hear about them! Now, if I could only get that Queen of Customer Service to help me find those earrings! I’d almost bet she’d be willing!

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In addition to the stories you see on TV, Monica is always looking for ways to help consumers find deals and avoid fraud. She'll blog about what you need to know here.