Service Matters

Or should the title simply be “Duh!”?

Such a one-syllable title might be fun, but, channeling my inner editor, it’s probably not quite enough information to really work as a title.

However obvious the statement, service matters, this may seem, – good service is good business, good service makes customers happy, so they’ll come back for more and tell their friends that your business is good to do business with – occasionally life steps in to dramatize that what should not have to be said, has to be said; that the obvious needs to be belabored; and what should go without saying sometimes just doesn’t go without saying and has to be said.

Like one or another of Tony Soprano’s crew used to say, “I’m just saying….”

I’m just saying:  Service matters. Paying attention matters. Not being attentive can make you lose sales and kill your business.

Why belabor the obvious now? Here’s what happened:

After some frustrating hunting around for an increasingly rare computer part (an old school, IDE internal hard drive, if you must know – in 2004 it was the thing, now, less than 2000 days later, its already going the way of the pterydactyl), my computer tech guy called me up and said:

“Get thee to Datavision” – a brick & mortar computer store in midtown Manhattan, to get just the thing I’m looking for – a big, new hard drive of this increasingly rare species, at a good price, and made by a reputable company.

I went online, found the store’s website, found the item on the website, and I tried to order it online. But this item was marked “phone orders only.”

So I called the store’s 800 number. I listened carefully as their options had changed. I selected the option to speak to a salesman. I got a voicemail. I left a message. And down the rabbit hole I went.

  • No one answered the phone when I called.
  • No one returned my call when I left voicemail messages asking for a callback to place an order.
  • I left messages for two different salesmen; but still, no callback.
  • No one called me when I filled out their online form requesting a callback to place a phone order.
  • No one called, even when I told their online instant messaging live support that I wanted to buy an item which was marked “order by phone only” and no one answered my calls — IM support took my number, said somebody would call — but, no one did.
  • I tried ordering online n/w/s the “phone orders only” warning.

Oddly, that seemed to be the one thing they got “right”: they wouldn’t let me place an order online for an item that “had to be” ordered on the phone. God knows why. Why only over the phone?

Shouldn’t a store dedicated to selling things be trying to make it as easy as possible for a customer to buy? By land, by air, by sea? Online, offline, on phone, by carrier pigeon?

This store made it impossible to buy this thing from them. Whatever happened to Alex Baldwin’s admonition in the movie of David Mamet’s great play about a real estate sales office, Glengarry Glen Ross, “ABC — Always Be Closing”?

Then, I found the this item at Datavision’s local competitor, J&R.

Borrowing an old, mangled saying, Datavision snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They really blew it. I would’ve bought it from them if they’d just answered their phone. Or returned my call.

One thought on “Service Matters

  1. Pingback: Great moment in good service prompts loyalty and gratitude | Marketing and PR Lab

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