Another Big Box Story!

posted: Friday, June 22, 2012

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We talk in broad concepts about customer service all of the time, but how often do we consider the real consequences when we let our guard down? The following story illustrates how easy it is to lose a potential sale, even a sale that you have already closed.

I have some very good friends who are making big improvements to their home and in doing so, they have experienced both the good and the bad when it comes to customer service. Back in March, they went to a home improvement store to pick out new counter tops for their kitchen. After a lot of thought and gathering the opinions of friends and family, they returned to the store to purchase their choice and set up the installation.

They were told that the store's service department would call them within a week to set up the dates for the installation. That call never came; two weeks went by before my friends called the store. The store apologized and promised that someone would call within 72 hours to get everything set up. But once again, there was no phone call. This time my friends went back into the store to find out what was going on and were given the run around. They were, again, told that they were on the schedule and someone would call shortly. No one did!

It is now mid-May and nothing has been done, my friends went back to the store to get their money back. The manager asked for one more day to track down what had happened, but that led to nothing as well. In the end, the store was forced to give the money back and they lost a big sale. The hard part, the actual sale, was done and the store lost it because they failed miserably in the customer service department.

Customer service is not just something salespeople talk about; it will cost you money and sales if you choose not to provide it to the highest level. Not only was there a lack of customer service in this example, but numerous people broke promises and that just can't happen, ever! Great customer service will make money for salespeople. But make no mistake, poor customer service will cost you big money. It's your choice! This also illustrates the advantage an independent has over the big box stores. You can't always have the best selection and price, however you can always provide exceptional customer service!

FINAO – Brad Huisken

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