Under New Management?

One of my favorite hobbies over the last few years has been running.  If the weather is right then odds are you will find me on the local track or attending some running event in the area.  My chosen hobby has led me to become one of the more frequent customers of the local sports apparel businesses in the area.  After a trip to one over the weekend I couldn’t help but wonder if it was under new management.

I mainly deal with two sporting goods stores in the area.  One is a locally owned business where I buy my shoes and really anything else I can find there but this store is limited in selection.   Due to the limited selection at the local store I also shop at a big box sporting goods store that has a huge selection of running apparel.  And until this past weekend it has had some of the worst customer service around.

I had been highly critical of this big box retailer, especially the lack of staff attention.  Until recently it was possible to spend upwards of an hour in the store without ever being acknowledged by a “team member”.  Most of the time the “team” was huddled up discussing the latest store gossip.  However, this past weekend it was much different.

In my trip this past weekend to the big box sporting goods store my goal was to buy a pair of shorts and nothing more.  After picking out a new pair of running shorts I decided to make a loop around the store to kill a little time and also see what was new.  To my surprise and amazement I was approached by five team members and asked if I needed assistance.  What was even more impressive was that the staff actually went out of their way to speak to me.  It wasn’t the old “within three feet and eye contact rule”.  Now, each time I was approached I told them that I was “just looking” but it made me much happier be in their store knowing they seemed to appreciate my business.

In the past, each time I was at the register at the big box store I would usually be shaking my head and gritting my teeth wondering why I was spending money with someone with such awful customer service.  But not this last time.  I actually had a smile on my face.

The moral of the story here is to make sure you do your best to put a smile on your customers’ faces.  Make sure they know they are appreciated.

Have a great week. — Luke

“Consumers are statistics.  Customers are people.”  Stanley Marcus-Chairman of Neiman Marcus

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