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Customer Service 101

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I was appalled at how poor retail stores have been with their customer service.

This is not a social experiment.

The lack of or utter incompetent customer service I had encountered that day was uncalled for. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a very patient, easy-going, and an uncomplaining kind of a person. However, I was ticked off that day to the level where I just had to share my experience.

It all started when my wife had asked me to look into purchasing a water softener for the house. We’ve been on our property for 8 years without having one, but the wife didn’t like seeing the coating of hard water stains on the bathtubs, sinks, and dishwares. I obliged.

I went online to research for a water softener that would be suitable for my house. There were tons of resources online about water softener, so I started calling around to a few local companies to inquire about prices and installation costs. After an arduous few hours, my interest steered to going to the local retailers with the wife.

Home Depot

We walked into Home Depot around 7 pm. The store wasn’t busy so the aisles were pretty empty. We walked into the plumbing section and found a few water softener appliances. I advised the wife to stay as I will look for a representative to assist. Walking around the almost desolate store, I had finally found an employee of Home Depot at the paint department. The employee had his attention towards something else, facing head down towards his cell phone. As I slowed my ascent towards him in hopes to catch his attention, I intentionally started to put more emphasis on my steps thumping my boots to the hard surface. The employee went on watching what he was watching and totally was oblivious ignoring all his surrounding. I finally mustered the courage to hawk up a loogie and said, “ahem.” Startled, I had finally caught his attention. Immediately, I asked him that I need assistance in the plumbing department for questions about the water softeners. I advised him that I will go back to the plumbing aisle to wait. He acknowledged my request getting on his walkie-talkie blaring staticky noises in the exchange leaving my merry way. Upon returning to the wifey, I told her that someone would be meeting us soon to assist. We waited over 20 minutes, no one came to our aid. The wifey and I felt frustrated on the long wait so we left. Thank you, Home Depot for the superior service. Failed!

Menards

Enroute to Menards hoping for a better result. There was an attendant waiting to answer all questions, so I had thought. I asked her a question about installation, she explained quickly that there are brochures and numbers to call to quickly leave to provide service for another patron. As she was walking away, I told her that I had more questions for her. She told me that she’ll be right back. She left walking with the other patron to another department. My wife and I kept waiting for her. Turning around I had seen her walking back towards the plumbing department, so I started waving my hands at her, but to my dismay she deliberately turned towards the descending walking escalator, just to leave. Maybe it was her break, or she had another assignment to attend to; nonetheless, she disappeared as fast as a magician staging an illusion. We waited around for another 15 minutes just to leave empty and disappointed. Failed!

Lowes

I told the wife that there is one more destination that we can check out since Lowes wasn’t too far away. We arrived with an employee greeting us really quickly to ask if there is anyone that can assist with water softener questions. He told me that their plumbing expert had already left for the day at 7 pm. Regardless, I had asked him to direct me to where the plumbing department was and parted our way. While viewing their water softeners the same employee came back to greet us with another employee. He told me, to summarize, that although they didn’t have an employee that worked in that department since 7 pm, he was able to find someone who has some knowledge in a water softener and was trained in this department in the past. I was pleased to see that this employee took his time to find and arrange a way to assist me. Although we didn’t buy a unit that night from Lowes, my wife and I left the store knowing that there are still some companies out there that value their customers. Success!

In Conclusion

In no way am I endorsing Lowes. This wasn’t a social experiment! I just had a chance to witness firsthand the horrible services that some retailers may provide while others will go above and beyond to provide superior customer services for their customers. It may have been another night for these employees, but remember that we are the consumers that are indirectly assisting you to retain your jobs. Be humble, be respectful, and even on a bad day aid us with a smile because we’ll be forever grateful for your services, and will return as repeat customers.

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