Lowe’s: A Thousand Light Bulbs But No Bright Ideas About Great Service

I just didn’t want to go there again. My last visit was a horrible experience, but my mother insisted. Perhaps I had a bad attitude before, so the negative experience may have been entirely my fault. You be the judge.

Real world story: My mother and I entered Lowe’s, and since no one greeted usLowes  cheerfully, we immediately started looking for someone to help us. (I wasn’t very  hopeful because the last time I visited this store with my brother, we walked up and down the aisles, for at least 5 minutes, looking for someone to help us. All we found were other customers looking for assistance, too. When I finally did make eye contact with an employee, he ducked behind an aisle hoping that I hadn’t noticed him. I hustled down the aisle to try and catch him. When I reached him, he laughed and said, “Oh, you caught me.” I was too stunned to laugh.)

On this visit with my mother, the first employee that we came across was standing near a cash register looking through a People magazine. The second employee that we encountered was talking on his cell phone while walking away from us. When he saw another employee, he and she ducked down an aisle where they started whispering and laughing. My sweet mother asked them where we could find a certain light bulb. One employee pointed quickly and vaguely to an aisle farther down the store. (It would have been nice if she could have taken us there, considering that the store’s aisles are not exactly short and there are hundreds of items in them all!)

This perpetual game of hide and go seek continued for all 5 of our items: Look for an employee. Employee vaguely points to some aisle. My mom and I struggle in the aisle to find the right item in a sea of endless choices. Rinse and repeat-and not in a good way!

When it was time to check out, I decided on self-check-out (I no longer wanted to deal with any more “overly friendly” employees). But as fate often plays cruel jokes on us, our swipe machine wouldn’t register our credit card, so an employee had to come over and help us. During the entire transaction, she did not say one word. Even when I tried to engage her and joke around a bit, she didn’t acknowledge anything that I said. On our way out the door, she ironically said, “Have a nice day.” Now this made absolutely no sense because she obviously didn’t mean it.

Once again, Lowe’s employees met my expectations of service-lousy service, that is. Too bad, huh?

Strategies to turn it around:

  1. Immediately greet each of your customers and pointedly guide them toward their destination.
  2. Physically walk your customers to the correct location and ensure they can find what or who they are looking for.
  3. Smile and engage your customer in pleasant small talk-especially if your customer is engaging YOU!
  4. Offer a friendly good-bye, but only after you follow and complete steps 1-3 above.

That’s my story. What would YOU have done?

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