Customer service is always a key to success for individual growth and for the long term vitality of a business, no matter what industry or specialty is involved. In rough economies, this is even more essential as customers expect a little bit extra when spending their limited resources. What follows is a comparison of two experiences I had yesterday and why I spent money at the less likely of the two places.
Suit shopping is very low on my list of things that I enjoy doing. Quite honestly, I hate trying on clothing, despise dealing with getting fitted, and really do not like wearing formal garments. Due to a combination of losing several inches off my waistline and having several significant activities on the horizon, I set out yesterday to find a suit at a decent price that actually fits properly.
My first stop was a well know menswear chain which advertises heavily. The actual pricing was close to qualifying as bait and switch but that is not what kept me from purchasing a suit there. A rather arrogant salesman practically insulted me by saying that very few people they see are my size so they had one item in stock that fit me. I would need to select a series of suits from their catalog, pay for them in advance, schedule a private fitting, then ask for a refund on those I did not like. I asked why I had to pay in advance, sight unseen, and was told that I should know that is how a shop like this operates. He also criticized me for wearing shorts on a nearly 100 degree day as that is not right for suit shopping (even though I would be switching to suit pants for the fitting process)! He also kept grumbling about how lazy his co-workers were! With that delightful attitude getting on my nerves, I left the store.
I continued up the highway to a moderate priced department store to see if they happened to having anything to fit my "difficult" size in stock. A very enthusiastic sales associate greeted me, looked me over quickly, and proceeded to put five suits in front of me, all at very affordable prices. He listened to my concerns and helped me select the proper fitting attire. Finally, he very patiently measured me and marked the suit so his tailor to alter it properly. He was dealing with three customers at once and closed each sale with a smile in a gracious manner. I was so impressed by him that I will buy the needed accessories there, as well.
No matter what industry you work in, the key to doing well is to provide exemplary customer service and never talk in a negative way to your clients. Many of my client companies have told me that they realize that they must aim to please no matter how small or how large the order is they are filling. Certainly, I was not the wealthiest client the first salesman has ever dealt with (far from it) but he had no way of knowing how many people I might be able to influence! I am not sharing the name of the firm with you as that is not my purpose but will never recommend them if anyone asks for my opinion off line!