I’ve been a frequent shopper at Ross Dress for Less for years. When Emme was small, she would announce to all the other Ross patrons upon entering the store, “THIS IS MOMMY’S UNDERWEAR STORE!”
Because it is.
She would also alert the barrista at the local coffee shop upon gracing their establishment, “COFFEE MAKES MOMMY HAPPY!”
Because it does.
It was around this time that I desired to shop alone.
Last week, I headed to Ross to find some cotton twin sized sheets for Jensen’s new big boy bed. I found some jersey cotton sheets in denim blue at a good price. I also got a white cotton blanket. I’m avoiding the traditional comforter route because of his allergy to dust mites.
I got the sheets home and followed all the recommended washing instructions. And btw, sheet manufacturers listen up, WHAT’S UP WITH THE FINE PRINT? Just make the label a little bigger so I don’t have to put on two pair of reading glasses to see it. ‘Kay?
When I went to make up Jensen’s bed, I nearly pulled a muscle (and I use that term loosely) attempting to get the corners on. At one point I was splayed out on the mattress attempting to hold all four corners down at the same time. Which I did manage because I’m always up for a challenge. However, when I hoisted myself up, the mattress began to curl up, and the fitted bottom sheet didn’t even begin to cover the sides. Thus loosing its status as the fitted sheet.
A day later I headed back to Ross to return the sheets, hoping to find something else.
The clerk, who ceased to be nice upon learning I was returning something, half listened to my explanation, and said that they could not refund my money, or even exchange the sheets. She called an equally disagreeable manager type person over to repeat her speech.
I gathered up my sad little package of sheets and left. Vowing in my head never to return.
“Ross, you are dead to me.”
Underwear from Wal•Mart can’t be all that bad.
Isn’t it funny, how one negative experience can make a consumer throw out the entire baby with the bath water? But, it’s true. One bad encounter will make us avoid an establishment for years.
It is the reason that I haven’t graced a Checkers Drive-thru in 6 years. It only took one pimply faced disrespectful employee to cause me to bid Checkers farewell in my rear view mirror. Forever.
When I returned home from Ross, I sat and e-mailed a letter of discontent to Ross National Customer Service. I didn’t owe the cuss jar any loose change. I want you to know that. I simply expressed my disappointment in their policy, and how the transaction was handled.
Now listen. I do know the other side of the coin. I worked in Customer Service at Beall’s Department Store in San Antonio for years while I was going to college. Customers and their wide variety of complaints use to drive me crazy.
But I also knew that I was working for a family owned company that placed customer service high in importance.
The next morning, I received a very nice e-mail from Ira Sandhu at Ross Corporate Headquarters. She explained their return policy in a much more pleasant tone, and asked me to give her my phone number. Which I did. And not 5 minutes later she called.
She asked me when I could return to the store, because she wanted to let them know so they could issue a refund for the sheets.
I went that afternoon, and the clerk that was on duty could not have been more helpful.
And I did indeed find more sheets that worked beautifully. Plus an adorable basket to fit in the girl’s bunk bed cubby hole. Okay. And 3 pair of underwear.
I returned home happy, and wrote back to Ms. Sandhu telling her that I was well taken care of, and thanking her profusely for her attention in the matter. She in return e-mailed me and thanked me for being a valued customer.
And all was right with the retail world.
You can bet that especially in this economy, I am going to frequent those establishments that place a high priority on customer service. And then tell my friends about that service. And perhaps even blog about it.
Word of mouth from happy customers is perhaps the greatest form of advertisement that a company can invest in.
I open the floor to you all. What type of customer service have you been receiving lately, and how has that affected your repeat business?