Most of my blog posts deal with our signal flags and decorating ideas but this post is a rant wondering where Customer Service has gone. As a micro-business in our 5th year we have found some great places to get the supplies that we need. Dependability is key to most business and it’s great when you find places that go above and beyond to have the things that you need. The first one that comes to mind is Hobby Lobby. It’s always a positive experience when you go there and 9 out of 10 times we find what we need.
Recently we had a bad experience with a store that apparently doesn’t care about their customers. I am writing this because I hope that it will help others that are equally frustrated with what is going on with customer service, especially lately. One key thing that most business need to take into account is that the people that you hire are an example of your company. You can be a great owner but if the staff that you have is poor it will reflect on your company. If customers can’t get what they want, they will go elsewhere. It should be a positive experience.
The store where all this happened is Creative Sewing in Geneva, IL. They also have another store in Sandwich, IL. I bought my first Pfaff with them and they were really nice. When I decided to upgrade I went back to them, traded that machine in and got a Pfaff 1142. Although the staff was poor about answering questions about sewing and was more interested in their quilting classes at least it was close. I have been sewing for 40 years and have quite a bit of experience. Most of time I go to the store for parts and some supplies. To give you an example of their staff there last March I ordered a light bulb for my sewing machine and they said it would be in within a couple of weeks. I finally got the call that it was in late June. Fortunately I found a place online and ordered it through them after I had waited a month for Creative Sewing to call. Most machines don’t work if you don’t have a light bulb. Luckily this was for my back up machine.
My plan is to hold onto the Pfaff 1142 and use that as back-up but recently bought from a private individual the Pfaff Grand Quilter Hobby 1200. It’s a wonderful machine but there was a couple of small issues with the needle threader and I had some questions in general about the machine. I thought since I had done business with them before that if we brought in the machine they could answer them. I called and spoke to the tech to find out when would be a good time to bring it in and he said “I don’t have the time to show you anything so don’t bother bringing it in unless you want maintance.” Even if I would have done that he said that I wouldn’t get my machine back for 2-3 weeks. Needless to say that we won’t be going back there at all.
In comparison I found another sewing and quilt shop about 25 miles away. We called first and they told us to come in. We brought the machine with us. The tech there sat down with me for about 15 min and answered all my questions. He was very knowledgeable and what a nice experience it was. We will be going forward with this place.
Too many business especially in this economy that can’t be bothered to have good Customer Service will go out of business and it will be justified. No matter what you are selling you need to know about your product and be able to answer questions that customers have. Without customers where would you be? We have customers that send me emails asking various questions about our signal flags and we answer them within 24 hours. It is important to us and we are never too “busy” to answer. I think that far too many places take customers for granted.
I have lost count on the number of places that I have emailed with a question and never received any response. At least it is a good way to see who cares about there business and who doesn’t.
The choice is up to you but if you don’t care, then your business will suffer from it. Customers are important!