I wasn't going to blog about this because this happened in the offline world, but I saw a posting on Seth Godin's blog about Radio Shack and it was pretty much the experience I had yesterday. That's when I got to thinking about a post I wrote about Jackie Huba's experience with J.Crew. That was a totally positive experience and the type of Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) marketers treat as gold.
What Seth wrote and what I'm about to relate is something corporations should start taking note of as more and more consumers take to the web and even start blogging about their experiences, since its not the WOMM companies really want to see.
I don't know if it was the "Radio Shack Water" they all drank, but I had a bad experience at Radio Shack, too. I should clarify, my father had the experience, I like Seth, was merely a spectator, shaking my head as I left the store.
As par for the course, my father comes in with his list and gives it to "Lance" at the Frackville, PA store. I've seen my father do this before with no problems from the other sales reps, in fact most of them are very grateful my father has it so spelled out. This guy gives a snarky remark "What's this?!"
Immediately, my "oh this is going to be fun" meter gets triggered.
Rather than look at the list and go back to the area where the items would be, he goes to the computer. Then gets all snarky again, "these will ALL have to be special ordered." My dad replies "O.K., how long, because the last time it took 3 weeks."
"Oh it NEVER takes that long sir, it should only take 3 days. I believe you are mistaken when you say how long it took, because it never takes that many weeks." We both heard the 3 days from this sales representative with "LAC" on his sleeves, and I was a bit taken aback by him telling my father he was wrong.
So the bantering with this sales rep, who's being very combative with my father goes on, and it's not a nice in tone at all. Finally the sales rep says it'll be 3 to FIVE days. When my father questions him on why now its "to 5 days", Lance replies "I said 3-5 days before."
WOW! This guy was just plain out rude. And upon leaving with a receipt for the products special ordered in hand, my father says "That guy said 3 days at first, you heard it too, right? That guy's the reasons why I hate coming to Radio Shack, next time we'll drive to Moyer's in Pottsville." (smaller more personable electronics type store farther away).
Seth's story is pretty much along the same lines. Radio Shack, with all it's recent woes (its had to close close to half its brick & mortar stores and has had to corporately restructure to prevent even more financial losses) would be wise to re-invest in training for their sales representatives. I think they want them coming back to them in droves, not vowing to go to the competition.