Friday, January 9, 2009

Who Is In Charge Here

I am screaming on the inside as I stand in line at the return counter at a national retail clothing outlet. It's six days in the new year and you would think that some tall foreheads would know there are going to be returns. So why is there just one person at the return counter and a whole bunch of staff wandering around looking busy.

A day later at another national retail department store to return another item. 15 minutes in a lineup because, bless her heart, the lone customer service representative can not find the right code on the cash register and you guessed it, staff wandering around looking busy. Who is in charge here.

I guess impersonal and poor service is the norm of the day. Being in radio sales its not unusual to hear, "the advertising didn't work". If customer service sucks, all the advertising in the world won't help.

It doesn't matter if you are an established business or new to the market, you will always win when you WOW customers. Would I have minded the little bit of a wait had I reached my turn and heard, "I am sorry those gloves didn't fit. I can get someone to help you look for a pair that do?" Instead it was a grunt greeting, sign here and next!

It's just mind boggling to invest in bricks and mortar and not in the trenches where your brand wins or loses. And if you are not working on how to keep your brand strong, you have no excuses. The web has a plethora of experts at our finger tips. One of my favorite is Joe Calloway.

Calloway teaches about branding and how to not lose focus on the customer. We have all experienced this type of service Joe describes here in this short video.

Make sure you check out Joe's website is He is the author of 3 best selling books, owns a very successful restaurant in Nashville and a great speaker.

Tony Mariani

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