I believe that outstanding customer service skills are crucial and the bloodline to your business. You can have a great product but if your customer service skills are lacking most likely your business will not survive. Big box stores have a huge advantage over small family businesses. They are able to offer dirt cheap prices on so many of their items but most times to get the lowest price we often sacrifice quality of the item as well as good customer service.
Big box stores are trying so hard to make money and often at the expense of the customer. This really shows up in customer service or should I say in the lack of customer service. I witness this a lot when I am shopping in stores. I can name several stores that have the policy of having their cashiers or customer service people wait on customers while answering the phones at the same time. Recently I was at large wholesale club, standing at the Service desk purchasing a membership to their company. The service desk worker was not only trying to juggle a long line of customers as she was the only cashier, she was also answering all the incoming phone calls as well. When it was finally my turn in line to be helped she said, "how can I help you?" and then the phone rang and she motioned for me to hang on. She answered the call and from her body language I could tell it was not a happy customer on the other end. Instead of being able to focus on this customer on the phone and the problem they had, she was forced to give half attention to them and half attention to me setting up my membership. Needless to say neither the customer on the phone or I, felt like we were treated very special or that we mattered much at all. My entire interaction with getting a new membership took place with her on the phone as she gestured for me to stand in front of the camera and pointed to the line on the paper for my signature. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming the cashier for bad customer service as she was doing her job and trying the best she could to handle as many people as she could and as quickly as she could. I blame the company for being too cheap and too greedy to spend the money to hire a person to answer the phones. I can understand having to wear many hats in a small business but not in a major retailer I just cannot approve of this behavior. There really is no excuse for it.
That is just one reason, on a long list, of why I continue to support family owned businesses and small businesses whenever I can. Not only do they need the business, they appreciate and value me as a customer and it shows in their customer service. I know here at Westboundsoap, when I am working with a customer they have my full attention and I truly appreciate them and their business. Have you received excellent service form a small business owner? I would love to hear about it.
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