Guest Post by Amanda Weatherdon
I was shopping in a rather large department store recently and once I found what I was looking for I proceeded to the nearest customer service counter to pay for the item. Unfortunately, there was a line of 6 customers waiting. Since most department store customer service counters now do returns, the wait times are now getting longer however I didn’t expect this to be a problem as there were four staff members behind the customer service counter. Unfortunately that was not the case as three employees were folding clothing and only one was servicing the customers. As the lineup continued to grow, no one reacted and everyone kept doing exactly what they had been doing. No one jumped to man a register, no one called for additional help, nothing.
At this point I was extremely annoyed and customers around me were starting to make comments. I’m not much of a twitter user and you really have to do something that blows me away to get me to actually tweet you directly. This was one of those moments. I tweeted the company regarding the location of the store, the number of staff behind said counter and the lack of service at the counter.
What should have been done!
I think you’ll agree that the solution is pretty obvious long before the need arose for me to send a tweet. Once the staff realized the line was not getting shorter, they should have pulled one or two of the employees off folding clothing and hopped onto a cash until such time as the pressure was relieved and could have easily returned to the task they were doing. But alas, that never happened.
Social media is an extremely easy way of immediately interacting with your customers at “the moment of truth” when it matters most. It’s supposed to be a two-way street with real interaction not prepared script.
The missed opportunity, was as simple as a response such as “We’re on it, I’ll see what we can do”. Wouldn’t that be a novel response! Clearly this organization did have a full time social media person as the company did tweet back apologizing for the poor service and simply asked me to private message them so they could help. A canned response maybe?
What should have happened?
Following my tweet, home office should have called the location and made sure that the counter in question got someone else on the register. But that should have happened without the need for a Tweet, but we’ll save that for another time.
I’m sure the retailer has a hundred reason why that can’t be done but I’d also bet they can’t give me one reason why it should be done. At the end of the day customers live busy lives and the ability to get in and get out in a swift manner is crucial to customer satisfaction. You would think with the challenges facing department stores they’d be looking for ways to increase satisfaction levels.
So the choice is yours, if you’re going to engage your customer via social media, get real about it. The biggest difference today when a customer complains versus 20 years ago is the vehicle. Then, you got a telephone call or letter from a customer, now it’s broadcasted for all to see on social media, so you should have better answers.
Amanda is a buyer for a national retail chain has developed a keen sense of what customer service should look and feel like.
Copyright © Amanda Weatherdon 2014
If you found this helpful, Tweet, Like or tell a friend.
Sign up above to receive email notification of the latest update to this blog