When my wife and I moved to the Redan Hills Subdivision in Dekalb County in 2008, we immediately noticed a difference in the social and business environment. We were under the impression that we would continue to experience the same level of customer service and satisfaction that we had experienced years ago moving from the north part of the state. Starting over by locating our favorite stores in the area was not that big of a task, but getting used to the generic and less than stellar service that we were experiencing with the businesses in the area was shocking. After our first couple of months here, we came to one solid conclusion about the level of service that we were experiencing in this area. That conclusion is that it was very poor.
For a few years while getting settled into our home in the Redan Hills Subdivision, we frequently reminisced about the pleasant shopping experiences that we enjoyed prior to our move and took weekly trips out of our neighborhood to visit stores in an area where we knew the customer service would be great. After a few years of back and forth travel out of our neighborhood to shop, I had to really examine the issue at hand. It simply did not make sense for me to travel across town to a grocery store when I had one in my own neighborhood less than 5 minutes away. I started asking myself this question, “What can I do to help improve the level of customer service in my community, so that I can support my neighborhood businesses?” and also cut down unneeded travel. I then made the decision to demand a level of customer service that was due to me as a tax payer and shopper. Every chance that I got, I would fill out surveys that are normally printed on the back of receipts that I received from my shopping experiences that day. I engaged online surveys in an effort to improve my customer service experience and environment inside of my neighborhood businesses. When I chose to stop overlooking the problems and to engage in the quality feedback process through the business corporate offices, I started seeing results that made me feel welcome and appreciated as a customer.
I have encountered grocery, fast food; restaurant and department/drug store employees and managers take an ungrateful attitude toward customers and openly express their lack of care for the customers experience or loyalty to the company. However, the more I experienced unacceptable customer service, the more I got involved with the quality process by alerting the corporate offices. I am proud to say that my wife and I now shop at our neighborhood stores and demand that level of customer service that we deserve. I see steady progress within the stores in my neighborhood that I frequent that have not always presented the best shopping experience in the past. Besides, who wants to live in a community where they are surrounded by stores with lackluster customer service?
Do you live five minutes away from your local grocer? Is your favorite department store brand just right up the street from you? Do you drive out of your community because stores in your immediate area have a reputation for terrible customer service and lack of quality products? How important is customer service to you and your family? Have you experienced lackluster customer service within your community? What have you done to encourage businesses to stay mindful of their level of service to their customers? Share your experiences.