What is killing customer service & loyalty, is it COVID, chatbots, companies, open positions, minimum wage, inflation, or entitlement… it is likely bits and pieces of all the preceding. I don't know the complete answer I just know that the focus on customer service and loyalty is lacking. This will negatively impact sales and move more sales online.
I rarely go to the mall. When I do it is to make a purchase, it is not to browse or shop. This is fairly apparent in my pace and my body language. I recently went to Nordstroms to purchase Allbird shoes. I have problems with my feet and Allbirds are said to be very comfortable. I wanted to try on a pair, and if they felt good make a quick purchase. I went to Nordstroms for two reasons. 1st I was told they had a great shoe department 2nd an online search revealed Nordstrom’s sells Allbirds.
When I arrived the shoe department there was a one person sitting down like he was waiting to try on shoes. About 15 feet away I saw two Nordstroms employees. They could clearly see I was looking for something but were too engrossed in their conversation to help.
After about 5 minutes of not finding the Allbirds I walked over to the two employees, patiently waited until they had a gap in their conversation and asked, do you sell Allbirds?
They quickly reply, NO only online. They jumped back into their conversation.
I thought one of them would have recommended another shoe, asked what I was looking for, why I was looking for Allbirds, or done something to try and help. I was already there so I decided to look around to see if anything else looked comfortable. I picked up one or two shoes, I tried one on from the display, and I certainly gave every signal that I wanted to try on a different pair of shoes. The salespeople 100% saw what I was doing they just did not care enough to try and help. After about 5 minutes I left the department.
As I was leaving Nordstrom’s shoe department, disappointed and surprised by the lack of acknowledgment from the salespeople, the gentleman who was in the shoe department when I arrived was still seated. As I passed him I asked if he was waiting for a salesperson. He said he had been there about 15 minutes & no one approached him yet. I was astonished he was still there, obviously he has more time on his hands than I do.
On the upside, happy customers are your equity. They are your brand ambassadors & advocates. Every business should strive to build ambassadors & advocates. The biggest challenge is that happy customers only tell a very small circle. On the downside lack of service and unhappy customers tend to reverberate. Unhappy customers are your social outreach program. They will tell anyone that listens or anyone who reads reviews, just like I am doing now. This unwanted attention will lead to the loss of business.
I am in a hugely competitive business. I truly believe we run campaigns differently and better than our competition. I am fairly certain that over time our customers appreciate the difference and give us referrals. All of that said, the one thing that I am sure that sets us apart immediately is our total commitment to client service and that's what builds customer loyalty.
Good article here