Saturday, September 1, 2012

A tale of two very different customer service experiences

I firmly believe that credit should be given where credit is due, as the saying goes. But equally, especially in this day and age, bad consumer experiences should also be shared.

So here is my tale of two very different customer service experiences in the past month:

Experience 1:
At the beginning of August I was over in Kildare Village outlet and I had previously been looking at the DKNY Cosi. It's a cardigan, in lovely soft wool, that you can wear in 12 different ways. It was affordable and it was also reduced by 20 something euro on the day I went in - so I bought it.

I love it and I am learning all the different ways to wear it. Last week I was over in Kildare Village again and I happened to be wearing it. I dropped in to the DKNY shop and asked one of the sales staff if she could show me one of the ways to wear it, which she did, with a smile and a 'no problem, drop back anytime'.

I don't wear the cardigan everyday, it's a kind of a 'for good wear' piece of clothing. So, I was surprised last week to notice that the wool on the inside of the sleeve had started to fray and as the knit os so delicate, I could not imagine myself being able to repair it.

I went back over to Kildare Village today with the cardigan and I asked one of the sales girls to have a look at it. She was genuinely interested and she apologised. She said she would need to speak to a manager so off she went to find one. Within three minutes she had returned with a brand new Cosi in its plastic wrapping. Just like that!

I was stunned to be honest. There was no arguing, no quibble. The garment was just replaced - that was that. She was so polite and helpful. My daughter was with me and I said out loud 'I am very impressed by the customer service in here' and I noticed a couple of the other sales staff smiling at me.

I genuinely can't speak highly enough about the efficiency of response and how satisfied I am with the whole experience.

Job well done Kildare VIllage!
Job well done DKNY!
Job well done Irish sales staff!

Experience 2:
Now for an example of how not to do customer service.

Again, earlier in the month I was buying a birthday present for an 8 year old VIP in our house. It was lego - we all love lego and all get great enjoyment from it.

I was in the Art and Hobby Shop in Newbridge with said eight year old and I spied the leo he was asking for, for his birthday. Alien lego. Bingo! Double bingo - there was 25% off it.

On the quiet and while the eight year old's back was turned, I asked if one of the sets could be put away. I said I would be in without him in tow to fix up. I was told there was no problem and assured that the 25% would be taken off the price.

I was thrilled.

A good few days later I went back in to collect the lego and it had gone back up to full price which was a difference of almost 25 euro for the set. I explained to the person that I had been assured I would have it at the sales price. He looked at me silently and hesitated. He gave a half shrug and mumbled something. The price was the price that was on it. I asked if there was a likelihood of there being another sale and I was told the sale was over, the lego discount was finished.

I reluctantly parted with my money and got the birthday present.

A couple of days later I went back into the shop as I saw one of the girls I had originally dealt with. I told her that it was very unfair of them to have done what they did. Again I was met with a shrug and a limp explanation 'oh we had no phone number for you.......'

And then you know that thing that happens when a sales or customer relations person wants to get rid you? Yes THAT. When a second sales person comes and acts as backup and repeats, parrot like, what the first sales person has said? Yes that! Making it seem as if you are being rude or loud, which I wasn't

It was dreadful.

So then back to today and I was in the Art and Hobby shop and what did I spy? Yes the LEGO sale of 25% off is in fact back on in the shop and will run until 1st September. quelle surprise? I was disgusted.

I went up to the counter and I explained what had happened and she said 'Oh we did think of you!' REALLY?

I told her that I thought it was spectacularly unfair of the shop. I asked for the details of the head office for Art and Hobby in ireland and wait for it ......... I was told the following:
'I can't give out the number for the head office so you will have to take it up with our manager'.

Blunt. Rude. Abrupt.

Very badly done ART AND HOBBY SHOP!
Very badly done by the staff.
I wonder are Lego aware of the way their customer relations are being handled.

So we took and will take our business to Smyth's or Tescos.

Oh I know the difference was only 25 euro, you might say. 25 euro is 25 euro, but it was not so much the money, it was the attitude and the rudeness and the complete lack of reasonability by the staff and the store.

A chalk and cheese experience.

So I am off now to google DKNY to send or post on FB a positive feedback message and I am off to google the head office for Art and Hobby Shop, because the staff in their Whitewater shop would not give it to me. I think they might be interested in reading my letter....... but then again. maybe they won't.

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