Back in the day when I worked in a department store, we had this one manager that was extremely passionate about making sure that the customer was take care of. I even remember one occasion where a customer brought in a 10 year old item that stopped working. The customer was upset (I would not be if something lasted me that long) and the manager made sure they were taken care of. The customer left with a smile on their face and a brand new item in the hand. Now that is what customer satisfaction is all about.
I told you that story to get to something that happened to me in a store the other day. I went to a local department store, let’s call it BullsEye, to look at a hybrid bike that they had in their ad. It was $199 down from the regular price of $220, about a 10% discount. I had my wallet in my hand and the money was practically in their cash register. Of course when I got their, they were sold out and offered me a rain check. The spontaneous person that I am, I noticed another bike that was rather similar and it was regular price for $249. I asked the salesperson to speak to a manager and they arrived shortly thereafter. I told them that I was looking to take home a bike today and reminded them that the one in the ad was sold out. I told the manager that if they were willing to knock 10% off the price of the $249 bike, then I would give them my money and be on my way. She quickly said no and then walked away! Are you kidding me? Since when doesn’t a store want money?!?
Needless to say, I left the store without buying anything and I really don’t know if I ever want to go back. Are we now living in a age where nothing is negotiable? I have been reading You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen (which you can find in my recommended reading section), and I am beginning to wonder if he was wrong. It didn’t seem to work for me!
This post was more of a rant than anything, but I want to see what other people have been experiencing. Have we now become a world where customer service doesn’t matter or are the store managers just improperly trained? If I was in that managers position, I would have given the customer the discount. I would rather lose $25 on one sale then lose hundreds later because they never came back to shop at my store.
Has anyone else experiened anything like this lately? Has anyone had great customer service to the point where it is the only place you shop now?
photo by: gak