Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Customer Service - Why can't retailers get the message?

Last Friday was my wife's birthday. In the previous weeks we had been out shopping together and I had taken careful note of those items in which she expressed an interest. Of particular interest to her was something offered by the Australian retailer David Jones. A couple of days before her birthday I went to David Jones in order to buy said item. I walked into their Hornsby store and, sure enough, the item was there locked behind a glass screen. Fair enough. I can understand why it was located in a place where it could not easily be stolen. But now my problems started. I looked around: no staff. Certainly there was a pay station, but it was unattended. I looked further into the adjoining departments. Not a staff member anywhere. I was not the least surprised to see that there were very few prospective customers either! For 10 minutes I waited and looked. In that time no David Jones employee entered either the department in which I was waiting or the adjoining departments. I walked out. David Jones had lost another sale. Since then, in talking with other people, it has become very clear that my experience is a common one and not only at the Hornsby store.

If I was a shareholder in David Jones (and I'm not), I would be furious. At a time when retailers say they are experiencing a downturn, why can't prospective customers get service. Why don't David Jones want my money? Perhaps the shareholders should be thinking in terms of changing the Board and senior management. It seems like they've forgotten customer service.

As readers of my blogs know, this lack of customer service is a major concern of mine. For that reason it was good to read Carolyn Cummins piece in this morning's Sydney Morning Herald ( Why can't major retailers get the message?

What do you think?

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