Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Standing up for your retail rights - bullet proof tips to settle a complaint fast


It seems that this week has been full of customer service and customer entitlement posts....sometimes its about sales, sometimes about couture, and sometimes its about after sales issues.


As a page about fashion & shopping & because I come from a corporate background, customer rights & entitlements are important to me and will feature on this page as required. Mind you, I have spent my fair share of time behind a fashion & furniture register, so I hope I provide a very well rounded discussion of after sales expectations and entitlements.


Today I noticed a disappointed customer on the page of a high street chain who made a statement that is worth exploring. She said that in respect of her complaint, store staff were not permitted to call the appropriate head office people on her behalf to rectify the [loyalty program] issue. This specific statement is what prompted this post.


I realise that I am more assertive than most (who me?), but you need to push service providers, otherwise you wont get what you are entitled to. Whether you spent a one off amount or are a regular customer, you need to become more fashion assertive. 

When the SA or the 2IC or the online staff seem to be dropping the ball with respect to your concern, I find there is one solution which pretty much always works, but it will involve a time commitment. 

Considering how much time (& frustration), you may have already invested, it may be work to channel your time toward the following strategy:

1. Visit the store at the BUSIEST TIME DURING BUSINESS HOURS when head office is concurrently available.

2. Escalate to the store manager immediately. I wouldnt waste time with an SA nor the 2IC, as you will then have to repeat the story to the manager. I have never seen a store where the 2IC communicates the issue well enough to their boss - you are always left to re-communicate, so you may as well ask for the boss with a succinct "I have a quality or loyalty issue".

3. If the manager is busy (code for on a break), then have them call their mobile. If you cant wait for their return, dont leave the issue with anyone else – if you do, you will continue to get the run around. Instead, return when the manager is there & its the busiest time when head office is also available.

4. Speak firmly (no, you dont have to yell), so that every customer in the store can hear about the issue. I would suggest that you had practiced the spiel at home if you are not an assertive person.

5. Repeat your issue to every SA who says "boo" or even smiles at you, while you wait for resolution.

& here's THE MOST IMPORTANT (& hardest one) ONE:

6. Dont budge your cute little ass until the matter is dealt with, IN STORE, in front of OTHER CUSTOMERS.  No "we will look at it & get back to you", but a real resolution on the spot.

If they give you the “we cant call on your behalf, its just company policy”, then tell them you will not leave until they do. Tell them in front of OTHER CUSTOMERS.

If you stand your ground, they will pick up the phone & take ownership of the problem. 

You will find that you will end up speaking to someone in management during the course of this call. Get their name & title & if their position sounds dodgy, ask them to explain why the head of accounting or cleaning is dealing with your issue instead of the head of customer relations or online or production. Stand your ground until they resolve it. More importantly, stand your ground in front of other customers at the busiest time of day.


Some of you may be horrified by this post. Good. At least you have read it & may even think about it. 


Correct me if I am wrong - but stores are getting worse at customer service and products are getting more & more disposable. The economy is getting tougher & the need to make sales is stronger.

Some companies are so inefficient and so backward in understanding customer service that social media shaming them to do the right thing. 


You need to face the retailer in person & in front of their other customers with your complaint.


Apart from price competition, the consumer isnt being looked after. The only person who can look after your interests is YOU.   

The ball is in your court.

No comments:

Post a Comment