Walmart is an extremely successful company, known for its low prices and breadth of products they offer. I guarantee almost everyone has made a trip in there for one reason or another, whether you wanted to or not. Their low prices keep the customer coming back for more, which is a good thing, because if it was solely on their service they provide many people may opt for a different option. Companies can’t be great at everything, and Walmart does many things right. However, when it comes to their customer service and experience they provide the consumer they are less than stellar.
Walmart for the most part doesn’t offer a horrible experience, but usually their stores seem to be understaffed with employees who aren’t necessarily going out of their way to help. As a previous retail guest experience manager I know the ups and downs the customer service industry has to provide, and one of the keys to success is making sure the customer is heard when they have a problem. Timely feedback is essential. Even if the feedback isn’t timely it is crucial. No feedback in the Social Age is unacceptable.
Normally I have a fine experience at Walmart; I find what I need for a great price. However, this past holiday season my mom and I made a trip to Walmart that was less than thrilling. There were only a handful of registers open, and the lines were extremely long, reaching back into the clothing. Many people around us were complaining, one man looking for a manager. I understand the pressure of holiday crowds. However, what was the worst part was there were two employees standing and watching for over ten minutes before finally deciding to jump on a register to help out with the lines.
Proactively deciding not to help during a rush time where customers are angry will only lead to a negative experience and likelihood of giving a poor review. I have never given a bad review, but this time I had to take the survey provided at the bottom of the receipt. I answered the questions and offered a detailed description of what happened. Months have gone by and I have never been contacted by their customer service team to address my complaint.
I wrote a couple of previous blogs about how to treat your customer, and being sincere in your response. However, giving no feedback leaves a different kind of lasting impression in the customer’s mind that the company doesn’t even care to address a concern when it is brought to their attention. With the Social Age there are so many different kinds of opportunities for companies to interact with the customer. Many of these are quick and easy and don’t take too much time out of the day, but make a huge impression on the customer.
Like I said, Walmart does numerous things right, but in this example they failed to follow up on a negative customer experience. What have been your experiences at Walmart? Let me know by leaving a comment!