Customer satisfaction and the pool supply
Customer satisfaction and the pool supply
Is there such a thing as customer satisfaction? What is it? How can you in retail or service trades increase customer satisfaction? What does it take to reach a higher level of customer satisfactions?
Recently my daughter visited a pool store that we have used and have been purchasing our pool products at for a fair number of years. I found this place by accident many years ago. The normal place I purchased pool supplies did not have a gasket I needed for my chlorinator so I went shopping for the gasket. I have been replacing this gasket on a yearly basis due to the chlorinator leaking from the lid. The very first time I had an issue with the part the pool store installed the gasket on the head for me.
To make a long story short the, location of this gasket by that pool supply store was wrong. The first pool store sold me a gasket yearly due to misinformation they gave me. Since I switched to the new pool supply I have not had to replace that gasket for over 3 years running. I was satisfied however my expectations are very low and my needs are not great. I did purchase pool sweepers from this store and many floats along with other games, chlorine and other chemicals for the pool.
The pool seasons are much longer in Florida than in the northern states and in turn the chemicals are quite expensive over the swimming season. The time invested in keeping a pool safe and clean is immense and costly. Customer satisfaction should be fairly easy for the pool company to maintain. Be pleasant and have the merchandise to purchase on hand.
My daughter decided to take care of picking up some bottles of chlorine on this day. She normally does not have time to do this daunting task as she works in education and typically is at work. This is her first summer off to enjoy with her 16 month old baby daughter without working the summer. This grand child is the apple of my eye and is the star of our lives.
My daughter with her daughter in tow made a trip to the pool store. My daughter also has a pool on her property and must deal with the up keep of this pool. The day started out with no real problems other than the pool looking nastier than normal. She wanted and thought she would have the water tested.
The man at the pool store was alone and he opened up the store as normal. My daughter asked him to test the water and in his way told my daughter that he did not have to test the water in order to understand what was going on with the water. My daughter asked if he would test it any way and he said he did not have to test the water. She asked a 3rd time and when he refused to test the water she said ok give me the chlorine and I will go have the water tested elsewhere. The water test may take a total of 5 minutes to perform and is not a big deal from the experienced pool person.
For whatever reason this man thought she was testing his manhood and questioning his vast pool knowledge as he became bitter and angry with her. He stated that he could pour out the chlorine and he did not have to sell the chlorine to her. This was the wrong thing to say to my daughter as she said I think you need to empty the chlorine and she would go buy it elsewhere. He grabbed the containers and emptied the chlorine.
You would think this was the end of the nightmare for both of them right? Nope! This man decided to go out the back door and yell loudly Fu#k you and your little baby. As luck would have it my daughter was still in the parking lot and heard him scream that verse. She was strapping her baby into her car seat. She looked up and looks directly at him looking at her. Visibly upset she calls her mother and then me.
Once I heard the story I took it upon myself to call the pool company. I called and explain who I am and why I am calling. The person I am talking to happens to be an employee of the company and he asked me to hold for one of the owners. I talked to an owner and explained again who I was and then I started to explain the issue as I see the issue. I asked if he would care to enlighten me to what happened and how it could possibly have happened. His reply squarely put the blame on the customer my daughter. He also made it sound as if it was an employee that engaged in this behavior. This fellow tried to make me believe that he overheard the conversation however he did not hear the derogatory statement outside.
I then started to discuss sales with him and explained to him that we as sales people must be able to put aside personality conflicts and close the sale. If we cannot put aside the personality conflicts we must have the ability to ask another person in the store or company to take over and service the customer. We both were in complete agreement at this time. I can overlook a personality conflict however I cannot overlook F#ck you and your baby. This was said maliciously and with intent. It is a very hateful thing to say to any person let alone a woman and her baby. His next words were that was not the intent she was not supposed to hear the scream as it was just a vent.
He stated that he was sorry however it was not a meaningful apology. What made it worse is he lied as my daughter had already informed me that there were only 2 people in the store when this happened. The two people were the owner and my daughter. What happened here will cost the company dearly. They lost our business, my daughters, and my neighbors plus all the people we know collectively. Your poor customer service left a horrible taste that will always hurt you more, than that one customer. People will talk about their bad experiences with everyone they know as a result those people they tell will not have to discover the poor service on their own.
Decide today to make a difference and give a positive experience to your customers. Give them something different that will have a long lasting impression that excites people while engaging them to talk about your company in a good way. You do have a choice in how you want to be remembered and how you satisfy your customer. Make the right choice.