Log in


TK's MORNING BUZZ: Get the Straight Goods on Bad Customer Service From Our Counter-Intelligence Correspondent Tom Hannah

18 Jul, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

This morning I'm turning the podium over to someone else: independent retailer Tom Hannah of Video Quest in Joliet, Ill. Last week, you may recall, I wrote a column about a VSDA brainstorming session in which the focus was ways to improve customer service.

Tom responded by sending a great diatribe on bad customer service. I'm going to reprint his response in its entirety, in the hope that retailers can just as easily learn what not to do.

Tom wrote, "Every coin has two sides. Here are some examples of BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE I've seen in local video stores:

LOCKED DROP BOXES -- The theory is that if you force a customer to come inside your store he will rent another movie. What a great idea -- inconvenience your customers who are on their way to work.

CHARGE FOR REWINDING -- Sure, rewinding tapes is a pain in the behind, so charge those inconsiderate customers. (If they don't like it they can go somewhere else -- like my store.)

EARLY RETURN TIME -- Sure, the store closes at 10 p.m., but we want the tapes returned by 8 p.m. so we can rent them out again.

NO CHECKS -- Someone else bounced the store a check so everyone else has to pay cash. (If they don't like it they can go somewhere else -- like my store.)

NO CREDIT CARDS -- Some people just want everything.

NO BAGS -- Ugh! We ran out a few months ago! We plan on getting some more when we get around to it.

To Tom's, I'm going to add a few grievances of my own, culled from visits this year to video stores:

INDIFFERENT CLERKS --I'm the last person in the world who wants to be pounced upon by over-eager clerks who want to steer me to the new release wall. But don't ignore me, either. And if I ask you if you have a certain movie, don't just stand behind the counter and say, "I don't think so." Walk over to where it would be and then tell me no -- and suggest something else!

FADED ART -- Nothing turns me off more when I walk into a video store than posters or standees that are sunned blue and covered with dust. It makes me want to leave right away.

POOR LIGHTING -- I know we have an energy crisis, especially out here in California. But come on -- I'm 43, my eyesight isn't as good as it once was and I like to read the synopsis on the back of a video box. Don't make it harder than it already is.

OVERFLOWING SELLOFF BINS OF CHEAPO MOVIES -- If I want bundles of bad movies for less than $5 I'll go to Pic 'n' Save.

EXPIRED SNACKS -- Keep it fresh. Picking up a candy bar and seeing "Best before June 1999" won't keep me in your store much longer.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

Add Comment