Monday, 20 April 2009

Yep, It's 'Customer Service' Again

I read in yesterday’s Observer that the US electronic retailer Best Buy is coming to the UK. Bob Willett, Chief Executive was quoted as saying ‘John Lewis aside, no one provides customer service. We think we will grow the market’.

Okay, an over-simplification but he’s right. Customer service makes all the difference but so many people still get it so wrong.

I went to an independent shoe store the other day. Tried on a pair of shoes that were on display, tried to get eye contact with the two sales assistants with no success even though I was the only customer in the store. I put the shoe back and throughout the whole experience, they failed to connect with me, not even a smile or a ‘hi’. If they’d come over or communicated with me, no question – they would have got a sale. But they didn’t. So I walked out.

The same day I went to a branch of Carphone Warehouse to get an iPhone and switch my mobile network provider. The guy that served me was first class, great service, took all the headaches away including copying my contacts from my old ‘phone to the new one.

And that was a pleasant surprise. Sometimes we think small independent retailers are going to be better at customer service than the big multiple retailers, it’s often easier for them to offer an intimate experience but here was proof it can be the other way round. One example of how to build brand loyalty; another how to lose a customer.

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