Easy Button? Or Empty Promises?

A month ago, I purchased a home phone set-up for myself and an identical one for my parents. My parents had been complaining about their home phone, so I figured the only way I could help them figure out how to use the new set-up would be if I inflicted a new phone upon myself at the same time.

I went to Staples where I was greeted by the ever-present, cheerful smile of Sherry. I don’t know what possessed me, but when I was leaving, I turned back to Sherry and said, “You know, Office Max, Office Depot, and Best Buy are just as close to my house, and they have lower prices on most things. But I want you to know that the reason I come  here is because of you. You are always so friendly and cheerful that you give me a boost when I see you. I can’t even find employees in those other stores who will be rude to me…”

I know what you’re thinking. And, no, I wasn’t hitting on Sherry. I meant every word I said.

Fast-forward 3 weeks. My parents had called me several times to complain about the new phones. They were crap. I thought they were just having a hard time with change…until I realized that my new phones were dropping calls, made me sound like I was under water, and beeped for no apparent reason. (Side note: AT&T cordless phones are to be avoided…unless perhaps I purchased the only two lemons they ever produced).

After the purchase, though, having no reason to think that I had purchased crap, I installed and charged the new phones, threw away all of the packaging, and pitched the receipt. And now I was left with a pile of AT&T hardware and my honest face to try to get some help from Staples…

Fortunately, Staples has an EASY button. They are also known for the ease in which they handle customers like me.

I entered the store with a plastic bag full of defective products. I told Joe, the store manager, my tale of woe. Within 10 minutes, he pointed me in the direction of a different brand of phone, swapped it out for the old one, and I was on my way. Oh, and he made pleasant conversation with me, too. He listened, met my needs with a solution, and gave me no hassle whatsoever.

Just that easy.

Hassle-free customer service is promised by a lot of businesses. And if you never have an opportunity to test that promise, you just assume that it is in place. But the last time I tried to return something at a “superstore”, they needed packaging and receipts, and then they had me fill out 10 minutes of paperwork. And the end result was an in-store credit!

Staples isn’t the only store in town. But with a great manager like Joe, a friendly, sweet associate like Sherry, and more than empty promises to back up guarantees, my money will stay with Staples. I did a quick check on my credit card and found that I have spent over $1000 at this store over the last 9 months. That amount will be increasing in the future, and I will be spending less with their competition. Products are commodities. I can get products anywhere. For my money, I am willing to pay for service.

What business has given you exceptional service?

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