• http://www.manhattansgreatest.blogspot.com/ Dennis The Menace

    I work in retail and the thing about customer service is this Retail is about customer service but many retailers do not place as high a priority on customer service as they claim. Very often tasks take precedent over service. By tasks I mean very essential functions that need to be done in a retail store on a daily basis. Many retail stores are staffed at help yourself levels and thats why the service is often subpar. Not because the sales associates are not concerned about helping the customers. But very often they have insufficient time to do so. It’s much easier and much more interesting doing customer service than stocking shelves.

    • Michael Lewis

      Dennis, I too have experience in retail and I agree that spectacular, even adequate customer service is unusual when trying to “out Wal-Mart Wal-Mart.” Competing on low prices alone is a very risky strategy unless you have the financial muscle, system infrastructure, and a robust employee recruitment and training program in place to truly be a low cost leader. In many, if not most retail companies, entry level jobs are poorly-paid (at or above minimum wage), the work is tedious and physically demanding, and turnover is high. Yet these same employees are the ones who deal with customers day in and day out.
      I believe there are other ways to compete even in low price markets which can be successful and more fulfilling for employees than the strategy commonly in place today. I’ll be adding an additional article in the next few weeks “Competing in a Low Price Retail Market” you might find interesting.

  • http://www.manhattansgreatest.blogspot.com/ Dennis The Menace

    I work in retail and the thing about customer service is this Retail is about customer service but many retailers do not place as high a priority on customer service as they claim. Very often tasks take precedent over service. By tasks I mean very essential functions that need to be done in a retail store on a daily basis. Many retail stores are staffed at help yourself levels and thats why the service is often subpar. Not because the sales associates are not concerned about helping the customers. But very often they have insufficient time to do so. It’s much easier and much more interesting doing customer service than stocking shelves.

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