Is it just me? Or has anyone else noticed that customer service has really declined in the last 10 years?
If you need help these days it’s often difficult to find a contact phone number. Once you sleuth out the number, you aren’t likely to get a live person. Instead you get an array of phone menus. The worst are the voice menus with the sappy “I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that. Let’s try again.” Grrrrrr!! Trust me when I tell you that yelling your answer loudly into the phone doesn’t help.
Even local businesses seem to care less about their customers. Two weeks ago I went to a ComedySportz in Houston. I left my sweater there. When I called the club they said, “Yes we have your sweater.” I asked if they could stick it in an envelope and send it to me and that I would be happy to send the postage to them. When the person on the other end of the phone said, “No, I can’t do that” I was stunned. I fell silent for a moment and reassured her that I would be happy to pay. Again the answer was no! I was told I could come to the club on a Friday or Saturday evening to pick it up. Still stunned I explained that this would mean a 2 hour round trip and said, “Is there no one there that could send it to me?” Again the answer was, “No we can’t do that.” No sorry, no explanation, just “no.” I stewed on this for a few days. The more I thought about it, the more disappointed I was that another human being wouldn’t take the time to help me out. I sent an email in one last ditch effort and got no response.
This brings me to the reason I love selling and shopping online with independent artisans at places like Etsy.com, 1000Markets.com and through sites like Indie Artisans. One of the advantages of shopping small independent artisans on these venues is that the person selling the item also made the item. They take pride in their work. They are willing to talk to their customers, answer any questions, and in general will jump through hoops to have a happy customer. Customer service is a top priority. Maybe the internet isn’t so impersonal after all.
UPDATE: Don’t know how the owner of ComedySportz saw this post, but she did and contacted me. She is sending my sweater and has gone above and beyond to make a disappointed customer happy. That’s what great customer service is all about. We don’t always get things right, but we always try to end up with a happy customer. Thank you ComedySportz!