Thursday, 20 September 2012

Customer service ... or rather the lack of it...again

Last week I contacted Premier Foods in an effort to try and find out why Batchelor's Condensed Reduced Fat Soups were disappearing from the shelves of the supermarket. I received a standard email by return acknowledging my query and promising a detailed reply with in a couple of days, hopefully.

It took nearly a week in the end and the reply I received was clearly from someone who could barely conceal his contempt at having to reply to me, a mere and lowly customer. It turns out that now tinned
products have been passed to Prince's foods, a fresh email address was supplied and I am awaiting the response from Prince's.

I was really annoyed at the offhandedness of the reply from Premier Foods, so I sent a further email to the gentleman concerned just reminding him that without folks like me buying his company's products, he would no longer have a job, just his P45. I received the standard response, promising a detailed reply within a couple of days... I am not hopeful.

I have today purchased an additional external hdd for my aging laptop, mainly so I can try & get it refurbished , the laptop, that is. As per usual, this has involved several weeks of looking and researching.
In the end, I decided to have another Western Digital and although its not my favourite place to shop PC World had them in stock at a keen price.

In order not to have a wasted trip driving to Leicester, I reserved online to collect in store. I don't know who
designs their stores but they are no more welcoming than when I last visited several years ago to buy my first external hdd. An assistant was stood at the counter,  so I approached him and explained the purpose of my visit. He consulted his screen, checked my name, then just wandered off without a word, to collect the package. He barely tried to catch my eye, let alone engage in any form of conversation. I had to guess  where he was going and what was happening next. He never asked if there was anything else I wanted, ignored my half joking request for discount and shut the till as soon as he could so he could wander aimlessly off once more.

I rarely go "shopping" as such, funds are too scarce and I have pretty much all that I need to survive. I freely admit to being an advertisers nightmare. I do understand though, that there are millions of people in this country who think differently and say they enjoy shopping. I also see articles in the press and on television describing how the "retail experience" should be a pleasurable one.  I seem to recall, in days gone by, shop assistants in shops like PC World, would be trying to sell you all sorts of extras... if he had asked I might have been in the market to replace a couple of items but he didn't, so its their loss.

In these days when money is tight, I should have thought that retail businesses would have been going out of their way to make every visit a pleasant one, in order that you will spend your money with them and even go back to them for further purchases.

Am I wrong????

When our customers ring to book a pallet collection, we make conversation with them, even crack the occasional joke with those we know well. It is our job to encourage them to send their goods with us, we know the service we offer is excellent and our rates are keen but its about building relationships, going that bit further to answer a query, winning their confidence, so that they know they can dial our number in any delivery/collection crisis and we will do our utmost to help them out.

Surely, its a similar thing when you go shopping, so please, shop assistants, retailers, listen up, you need us and we want to enjoy shopping no matter how rare our trips may be. At the very least, look us in the eye, a little conversation & a smile go a long way to brightening everyone's day. It may just be the deal clincher!

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