Twenty-First Century Customer Servcie*

In many retail stores I find several recurring themes–none of which are particularly appealing.

  1. Everything gets moved around. This is true at WalMart, the local grocery store chain, and who knows where else (I don’t shop too many other places).
  2. Once everything is moved (at least at the grocery stores), the prices are raised by about 10 percent.
  3. Of course, the idea of having employees available to answer questions, like, “Where are the clocks that used to be here?” died a long time ago.
  4. There are employees available, but they’re busy stocking shelves. Shelves are no longer stocked at night, but instead, at the peak of business activity, and giant carts loaded with merchandise are used to make passage through aisles absolutely impossible.
  5. It’s bad enough that shoppers are expected in 9 out of 10 cases to scan and bag their own purchases. However, the use of the plastic bags that defy all human efforts to open them (i.e., the front and the back stick together no matter what you do) manage to raise the bar on customer frustration to an all-time high.

Each of these practices are irritating, but since they seem so widespread, I have to ask. Did some retail guru (perhaps from Radio Shack, Sears, or J.C. Penney’s) promote these ideas? We may never know, but we are entitled to our suspicions.


* Yes, I know it’s misspelled. You see, it’s a sarcastic jab at poor customer service. Besides, I want to be the originator of a meme like covfefe or hamberder. So use Servcie every chance you get! Servcie! Servcie? servcie

2 responses to “Twenty-First Century Customer Servcie*

  1. o.k., this is disturbingly on the nose. I just came back from the grocery store, where I couldn’t get into the refrigerator case because a millenial, complete with earbuds for her iPhone, was enjoying the experience of “stocking” the case at a leasurely pace to her favorite tunes (or liberal sound bites, who knows – or cares) complete with dance moves (I assume/hope that’s what they were.) Servcie!

  2. You’re absolutely right, Steve, about the lack of customer service–especially when companies spend millions of advertising and marketing dollars trying to bring-in customers. Nordstrom clothing and department store is the one exception and the reason why is that each staff member is empowered to say YES.

    Nordstrom is a high end, quality product store. And the staff are oriented to turn the “sales process” into an “educational experience.” It’s actual fun to buy stuff and “invest” money into clothing there–and actually “feet felt.” That’s what customer service staff members at Nordstrom make buyers remember. There’s never looking for a sales person or conversely having a sales person running up you trying to sell you something you don’t want or need–or stocking the shelves rather serving customers first. No, their commitment is complete and total customer service “all-ways” irrespective of sale or not. Their focus is frequent return customers.

    Staff members say YES to return items, exchanges, sale prices, poorly fitting clothing, and everything else customers are not totally satisfied with…all without management approval. While Nordstrom prices are not exactly affordable for everyone on a regular basis–everyone who has shopped there is a regular customer. Nordstrom is one of those excellent organizations.

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