Customer Service #101

So in the past couple of weeks, I’ve experienced two Customer Service ordeals (actually, one was mine, the other my friend’s, keep reading).

The first experience was mine and with the store Best Buy.  My laptop, which I received as a Christmas gift this past Christmas, had stopped working.  First step, I call the Geek Squad to see if they can assist me over the phone.  I get one of their reps on the phone, I explain my issue, he says he can’t help me since I don’t have tech support and basically, hangs up on me.

Next, I call the store directly.  I speak with a very nice young man who says he can’t help me over the phone but, he would be happy to schedule an appointment for me to come down and have someone take a look at it.  I show up the next day for my appointment, laptop in hand.  I explain to the Sales Associate my problem, he takes a look and after 15 minutes or so, he says I have two options.  Option one, I can pay $199.99 to get tech support and they will figure out the problem, OR, two, he can do what they call a “quick fix” for $39.99, and that is only if they can actually do the “quick fix”.

I explain to him that I only just received the laptop six weeks ago and that I’m not paying for anything.   And, that if they can’t fix the laptop, I want a new one (I had brought the receipt with me so he could see).  This basically goes on for the next 30 minutes or so.  He takes it in the back to “take a look” and see what’s going on.  And with each passing minute, I’m getting madder and madder, and I kept reminding myself the issue will resolve on a positive note!

Finally, he comes back out, he says not only did he fix the problem, it turns out I did have tech support (we bought it early last summer and I forgot we had).  All it took was him looking up my name and information and there it was.

So, after about an hour, and a whole lot of aggravation, I walked out of Best Buy with my laptop in hand, but not a happy camper.

Then, last weekend my friend asked me to meet her at the mall as she had to bring her new bag back to the Louis Vuitton Store to get repaired.  When I got there and met her, I could see she was upset.  I asked what’s going on?  She said she brought the bag to the store, showed the Sales Associate the tears on the bag, and the lady said they would fix it, only she would have to pay for it.

Now, I was with my friend when she bought this $1500.00 bag, and it was pretty recent.  I asked my friend why do they want you to pay?  You just got the bag!  She said she didn’t know and that she was instructed to come back in an hour (she had left the bag there).

I should note, my friend buys from that particular Louis Vuitton store often.  And if the Sales Associate had looked up my friend’s name and information, she would have seen that she is a loyal Louis Vuitton customer.  I should also note here, we (my family) are loyal Best Buy customers, and if the Sales Associate I was working with had looked up my information as soon as I got there, we would have most likely had a totally different experience.

So, back into the store we go and the Sales Associate is at the counter, and before my friend could say a word, the Sales Associate says, ok, the manager approved the repairs and we will take care of the cost.  My friend looks relieved.  The sales lady goes over all the pertinent information, says is will take a minimum of six weeks to repair, I’m shocked at the length of time, my friend says that is standard.

We leave the store, my friend understandably shaken up over the whole situation.  I remind her she will get her bag repaired and it will be better than before (they agreed to put on a whole new handle).  She agrees, and also brings up a great point.  The point of this blog.

She is a loyal customer to Louis Vuitton, she buys from them often and spends good money.  On a side note, that girl  knows more about Louis Vuitton than anyone I know, and she loves talking about their bags, she is a walking advertisement for them.  They should treat her well because she is an extremely loyal customer.

And my family, we are loyal Best Buy customers.  Computers, cellphones, tv’s, you name it, our first stop is always Best Buy.

So what does it say when you don’t treat your loyal customers like the royalty they are?  I would say, it kind of leaves you feeling like maybe your loyalty isn’t being so appreciated!

That’s not to say I won’t shop at Best Buy anymore, of course I will.  And my friend will continue to shop at Louis Vuitton.  Only, we have both become a tad smarter from our experiences.

And I believe this is where retail stores drop the ball.  Their customers are their life-line and if their customers are unhappy, that is a huge problem, and it will eventually affect their bottom-line.

I’m sure everyone has a customer service issue story or two, maybe more.  As a Personal Shopper, I spend a lot of time in the stores, and I am always observing both sides of the fence (see my blog Want Great Customer Service?).

Stores want loyal customers.  Consumers want to know they are getting their fair share of attention.

In a perfect world, both sides win!

Keep shopping, keep smiling and till next time,

Patti B. <3

NineFrogs ~ Where Style meets Attitude and = Success

P.S. – I don’t know if it is just a coincidence or not, but the other day I received a gift certificate from Best Buy by e-mail.  Am I going to go to Best Buy and buy something?  You bet I am, I’m a loyal customer!