The Economy, Retail Sales, Customer Service
Yesterday, on the busiest retail week before Christmas, against my better judgment, I went to a bookstore in Myrtle Beach, to use a gift card my daughter gave me for my birthday. The many sales associates were very attentive and the store was moderately busy. After browsing for about 45 minutes, I found a book that all of my family would enjoy. (2008 Edition of Cook's Country Recipes) I stopped at the Customer Service Desk (in this case, "No Customer Service Desk") and asked if I could pay for my book. I was told that I must go the the front or rear of the bookstore in order to checkout.
Needless to say, there was only one person at the front checkout and one at the back of the store. There were lines in both locations and they were not moving. I understand that the economy has created a need for retailers to cut back on full and part-time employees but, does that mean retailers should cut back on customer service?
The focus of any retail or service business model, should always be, in my opinion, customer service. The lack of customer service, is the main reason for making more purchases online than making a trip to the store. In fact, I usually get more information by doing product research online and there's no waiting (except for your purchase to arrive at your front door).
On the other hand, when it comes to higher end purchases, nothing can replace seeing and touching a product in the retail store.
Suggested Reading: This is a book that I read back in 2005. A great example of customer service and accountability. Click Here