February 3, 2012

Customer Service

Slip Jig from the Ravelry Pattern Page :: Love
Have you noticed that customer service seems to be a lost art these days?  Why?  Is it so hard to be nice and polite to people in your shop?  I've recently had experiences on both ends of the customer service spectrum and thought I'd share and see if anyone understands why it's so hard?

Last weekend, my daughters and I went into a LYS to shop for yarn.  I was looking for a specific yarn that I knew they carried.  They had one hank of the yarn in the color I was looking for - I needed 2.  When I walked up to the counter to ask if they had any more - the woman working there barked at me that all they had was on the shelve.  Not - how many do you need?  We are expecting an order any day?  Or can we order it and call you.  Oh - and she didn't bother to look at me while barking her response.  Needless to say I walked out without buying anything.

Next - my husband, one daughter and I went to a different yarn store.  Immediately upon entering we were asked if we needed help.  Were given guidance without the sales people being pushy.   They looked up a pattern on Ravelry for me so everyone knew what I was making and could give opinions - which they did on the color matching.  They helped The Princess get new needles for the socks she was making and made sure the cable was long enough and even showed her how small the needles could go.  Wonderful experience and I'll go back to Fiber Gallery again.

My second amazing customer service was with Blue Moon Fiber Arts online sales.  I had been looking at the Slip Jig pattern for a long time.  It was finally available outside of the sock club and my paypal account was flush so I ordered it.  I got an email saying it shipped - but no link to a downloadable pattern and no way to log into my account to check the status.  I waited about 10 days and then contacted customer service.  I got a response within 24 saying they had been having some problems with their computers but to try resetting my password again and to be aware it was case sensitive.  I reset my password but still couldn't see my pattern.  I replied to customer service again, saying I got into my account, but still couldn't find the pattern.  The next email I got was a notice that my paypal payment had been refunded.  I was a bit crushed because I wanted the pattern.  Within seconds, I got another email from BMFA's customer service with a link to download my pattern.  They had refunded my money because of the issues in trying to get the pattern.  I will shop with them again - as well. 

So tell - do you put your dollars where the service is good?  Or do you shop someplace with less than stellar customer service because it's convenient?



  1. I go where I feel like they want my money. We have a little local lumber yard, and I always go there instead of the big box places. They know my name, know my kids, always have guys to put stuff in my car (like a half ton of dirt in bags in my truck 2 years ago). I go to a local pastry shop (rarely - mind the waistline) over the bigger places, and I stopped going to the locally owned book store after I had about 15 books in hand one night just before Christmas, a few years back, and one of their clerks walked up to me and said, "It's 8:50. You need to check out now, because we need to go home." I responded, "Keep them. I'll shop elsewhere," and left. Yes, when there's a choice, customer service matters a lot.

  2. I agree, customer service is so important. When we moved here we went to one of the big places that sold appliances, picked out a stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, washer and dryer. While at it we looked at a computer. It was a big sale for the salesman who I admit was very helpful. But then after it was all written up he turned us over to a nasty little lady in customer service to set up our delivery date. She was so bored and rude that after a few minutes I said forget it, we'll go somewhere else to buy this stuff and walked out. We never went back to that store, but found a little appliance store closer to home and bought it all there.

  3. I shop where the service is good, usually. for my online LYS, i love Jimmy Beans Wool. Excellent cust. service. they have helped me several times with finding just the right yarns, and they put candy in your mailorder bag. :o) Also love fiddlesticks...great patterns, and just lovely folks at the helm, ready to help.


  4. I definitely shop (locally and online) where the service is good/excellent. I refuse to spend my money and time to be treated badly. Customer Service and Satisfaction should be a priority for any business if they want to be successful.

  5. Customer service wins over convenience every time. Rude will have me walking out the door !

    Glad you had good experiences after the bad one.

  6. I like the way Marjie put it. I too prefer to shop someplace where my patronage is appreciated.

    LOVE that pattern. I'm glad you were able to get it.

  7. I think we all want to be appreciated! I not shop at, but refer to, pleaces where the service is good. Glad you followed through on your pattern. I still have two patterns that I KNOW I bought and paid for from a popular online source that I have never received a link for, although I DID get a notice of payment made.

  8. I think we have all become used to sub-par customer service. It's almost shocking when someone is kind or polite, or even acknowledges me when I am shopping. It's a very sad commentary on our society...

  9. I went to Michael's one day, and back in the yarn section there was a basket with sky blue Red Heart in it with a sign over that said $1.99. I picked up a couple-great for the fun-type knitting and crocheting-toys and stuff. I get up front and they ring at almost $3.00. When I stated that they were on sale, she got kind of huffy, showed me what was in the ad. I told her about the sign, she sent someone back there who confirmed the sign was there. Apparently it was a Sunday sale and they just forgot to pull the one sign. I have worked in retail for many years and the rule is, if there is a sign over it, that's what the customer pays. The checker reluctantly rerang the yarn, getting huffier all the time. I mentioned-sweetly-that they should probably get rid of that sign, she said, "You don't need to worry about that!" When I paid with my debit card and she bagged it, she started to put the receipt in the bag. I asked her to hand it to me so I could put it in my wallet to be entered into my checkbook later. She literally THREW the receipt at me. Then she kind of plunked the bag down on the counter and said, "well, that's it!" and turned away. I almost returned it. No more Michael's in Bozeman, MT for me!

  10. Only out of desperation (usually time oriented) will I go somewhere that treats me like your first experience. By the same token I will sometimes get carried away when I am in a pleasant atmosphere but that's okay. It IS all about the customer service!!


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