Wednesday, July 23, 2008
As I think I've mentioned, I've grown inured to lack of customer service, grown accustomed to sales clerks who avoid eye contact as they ring up my stuff, chatting loudly in a language I can't understand, not to me but to the clerk in the next aisle; I've come to expect that returning something to a store is such an onerous process that I'm inclined to keep the unwanted item if I can't mail it back…so imagine my delight to discover that customer service still exists, alive and well in the American Midwest. Here, clerks make small talk, looking you straight in the eye. Friendly folks greet you as you walk in the door. Savvy retailers, instead of relegating customer service to a dim, dusty closet in the back of the store, build huge, brightly lit counters positioned by the front door! Like New York stores attracting shoppers with Euros made fat by the devalued dollar, Midwest stores could lure streams of jaded shoppers from New York by advertising lower prices and upgraded shopping experience.