bad customer service

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30 12, 2012

Has Your Showroom Been Punked?

By |2017-03-03T12:07:02-05:00December 30th, 2012|Categories: Blog, Customer Service|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Has Your Showroom Been Punked?

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Customers visiting bricks and mortar stores and buying on line.

Showrooming” is the latest revenge of the retail customers.

Customers that check  out your showroom and find the product on line and of course buy. I don’t think this is anything new but now it has its own name.

One study reports that 56% of these customers hadn’t planned on buying on line but the retail store experience was so horrible that they went on line. It’s back to bad customer service.

Bad customer service looks different these days: salespeople texting on their cell phones, playing words with friends while working with a customer or Angy Birds!

 

Case in point is a friend of mine who tried to buy from a local retailer but the retailer didn’t want to ship the product. Amazon.com didn’t mind—and at a cheaper price.

Want to know how to make your retail experience different?  Check out the  Apple Store Triple Convergence to see how you can apply the apple experience to your store.

Shopping in a retail store should be fun, interesting and inviting. Building an experience is about emotions.  Companies like Build-A-Bear build their whole business around feelings and creating the warm fuzzies.

How about a showroom and a museum?  How you can make the best of a showroom. Vitrahaus-interior design.

Okay, so Internet and price-check Smartphone apps have made it easier than ever for consumers to shop on line.  Mobile payments are the future,  95 percent of survey respondents have mobile phones, yet just 36 percent have already used them to make a payment. Many consumers also consider mobile payments safer than on line payments.

Wondering how to use mobile technology for your business? Interesting case stories from AT&T; how to  use mobile technology, and how to keep your competitors up at night.

Amazon has reinvented on line shopping, Sucharita Mulpuru, retail analyst at Forrester Research. “Amazon’s whole business is a loss leader.” I can’t believe that I can buy great books sometimes for fifty cents! If you’re going to give stuff away the customer will buy. But unless you’re Amazon you’ll lose your shirt and get the cheapest customers. By the way, I never buy full retail at Amazon.

I’m the dollar customer; do you really want me?

What about Wal-Mart testing same day delivery? Why compete with the low cost provider? You’ll only lose and if you win, you’ve really lost! I remember a large floor covering retailer in the midwest who told me (1985) that he could buy tile cheaper than The Home Depot and he could put them out of business. He had 10 stores at the time and was a  big force in the marketplace. It didn’t matter, in two years he was history.

Great  customer service moments? Today at the Thruway tollbooth I realized I was out of money. I didn’t have fifty five cents. The toll take said she would pay the toll for me and I should pay it forward. Will she do it for everyone? I doubt it but it made quite and impression on me. I spent t he day looking for a way to repay my debt.

I’m still feeling uncomfortable about the debt I owe.

WHAT’S THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO TO GET CLOSE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS? Talk to your customers.

How about this? Let me share my expertise with you. I will do a free third party assessment of ten of your customers. It will open your eyes to new opportunity  for  your business. For free!

Lisbeth helps businesses build customer loyalty through customer service training and sales training. Her book, Red Hot Customer Service is filled with great ideas for stepping up your customer service. She can be reached at [email protected].

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6 02, 2011

Stop Insulting Your Customers

By |2017-03-03T12:07:11-05:00February 6th, 2011|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , |7 Comments

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cartoon with fuzzy image, drinking hot chocolate and sitting outside in front of a wood fire. Every customer service post says: “treat the customer the way you want to be treated.”

Have you read the newspaper lately or watched the news?  Maybe I watch too much TV but there are lots of nuts out there. Remember the last time you got bad customer service? Is it possible that the server was treating you the way he  wanted to be treated? I doubt it. He probably wasn’t paying attention which is even worse than poor service.  Remember 96% of customers who leave a business leave because of  indifference.

Don’t we treat people the way we want to be treated? We’re nice to some and not so nice to others. It’s a fact of life, not a great fact but it’s what people do. Some people don’t have very high standards.

Treating customers they way they want to be treated is what great customer service is all about. Call it the Nordstom way, call it “going out of your way”  but it’s giving the customer more than they ever thought they could get. Nordstom’s first rule, hire nice people. Their theory, “we can teach people to sell but we can’t teach them to be nice.” It sure is hard to teach people to be nice.

I was in my friend’s shoe store the other day when a sad looking woman came in and asked if my friend was throwing out any shoes; she didn’t care about the size she had lost everything in a fire. It was hard to understand her,  you could tell she  wasn’t from the United States.

My friend took the woman and her two children by the hand and without hesitation found each  several pairs of shoes. The woman said she had no money but could cook for my friend and bring her a special dish from her country  in a couple of weeks. I watched as the woman left with shoes and my  friend with no money. I said to her “you just gave away a day’s profit”, to which she replied, “what does it matter, winter is coming and they need shoes.”

A few weeks later the grateful woman delivered a wonderful meal to my friend’s house and now they’re good friends. In my mind,  this is the best of customer service. Of course we can’t always afford to do this but there are times when it’s the right thing to do. My friend has struggled with her business; the profit she makes goes into inventory. I don’t know how often she  has paid herself but  when you meet her you know she’s a special human being.  She’s just nice and never forgets what you like and your shoe size.

Last year for my birthday she sent me the most wonderful pair of boots that I knew she couldn’t afford.  I tried to give them back but she said Mama Lisbeth, you’ve given me inspiration to go on and I know I can make it. By the way as I write this my friend Celestine from Shoe Fetish continues to do shoe parties across the country. Check her out on Facebook.

To me this is the ultimate in treating customers the way they want to be treated; I felt inspired. I know a business can’t survive this way, but it’s nice to make someone else feel good. There’s also something to be said for Pay It Forward; if you haven’t seen the movie, I suggest you rent it.

As Celestine juggles school,  family and her shoe store she finds time to meet people; it looks like the right people. She was on the Wendy Williams Show last week. I can’t wait to see the show, you go  girl!

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