Service of Giving a Second Chance

October 20th, 2016

Categories: Customer Care, Customer Service, Retail

Second Chance

After a more than trying experience at the china department of Macy’s New York many years ago—trying, the operative word, to buy a wedding gift where the bride had registered–I swore I’d not return to the store. I broke this pledge last weekend, not in the city but in Poughkeepsie, NY, and was rewarded ten fold.

We visited the men’s shoe department and lucked into a sales associate who knew shoes, fit, and his way around customers. Troy Capp outdid himself to help. My husband wanted a slip-on shoe in a wide width but the store doesn’t stock them; we’d need to order a pair. To increase the possibility that the ordered shoe would fit, Capp measured his foot and brought out a few shoes with ties in various sizes by the manufacturer from whom he ended up ordering a slip-on.

macy'sThe style my husband preferred was quite a bit more expensive than another one he’d looked at and Capp found a discount coupon to help in the decision. He also gave us a way to reach him should the shoe that arrives not be just right.

shoe measuring toolHe actually seemed to enjoy solving my husband’s problem and helping us. We were dumbstruck as we were no longer used to such care. As we arrived in his department I noticed a family leaving with smiles and a young man in his late teens reaching out to shake Capp’s hand. He was also in charge of “tailored clothing,” according to his business card. While he was helping us a couple came to pick up a jacket. He didn’t skip a beat and while my husband was trying on a shoe he went in the back for the jacket, accommodating us both seamlessly, calmly and almost simultaneously.

Have you enjoyed the assistance of a salesman like Troy Capp? Are his skills trainable or instinctive? Have you given a company a second chance? Did the second experience work out well?

 vintage men's fashion

 

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6 Responses to “Service of Giving a Second Chance”

  1. David Reich Said:

    It’s great when you happen across a salesperson who actually wants to be of service, but isn’t it sad that when that happens it’s so unusual that it becomes fodder for a post like this?

    We go to a small hardware store where the prices are probably higher than at Home Depot, which is not far away. But it’s worth the extra few dollars to have salespeople — all of them, not just one — who actually work hard at serving the customer. In a case like that, it’s not just that they happen to have found good, attentive salespeople. It’s more about management making sure there is proper training and making it clear to the employees that customer service is the top priority.

    I don’t know why Macy’s — or even Home Depot — can’t do that. I suspect it may have something to do with profits, since training and attention to customer service does take time and money.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    David,

    In a recent post I praised a hardware store a block from the office we share that can be just as you describe “your” neighborhood store.

    I have been MIA from department stores for so long that what I wrote may now be the rule, not the exception but I’d found for too long that paying full price for no service didn’t set well with me so I moved to other sources for what I needed. That said, I have friends who swear by Lord & Taylor.

  3. hb Said:

    In a funny kind of way I made my living as a salesman, which is why I was struck by David Reich’s comment. The issue is really not about your giving Macy’s a second chance; rather it is about why Macy’s did not choose in the first place to staff with a bunch of Troy Capps. You would have gone back to them long ago.

    I succeeded because I cared, and later the people that worked for me (and stayed around) also cared, about our customers receiving the best possible service we could give them. It was an instinctive thing; you can’t teach it, but if your customers truly believe you are doing your best for them, they’ll stay with you, even when things go terribly wrong and they often do.

    Occasionally, I’ve given places I patronize a second chance, usually with poor results. And inevitably, positive experiences were because someone cared enough to fix whatever had gone wrong the first time around.

  4. Judy Schuster Said:

    I’ve had this experience at Dayton’s, which is no longer. It has been replaced by Macy’s and the quality of the merchandise and the customer service reps doesn’t compare. As you know our son worked at Dayton’s during their glory days while going to college, headed the women’s shoe department in fact and worked in men’s shoes earlier. This kind of service was expected by management. I haven’t found that to be true at Macy’s, but am glad you found a clerk who was helpful. (I have had that kind of service more recently at Nordstrom’s, but that’s a different story.)

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:

    hb,

    We’re all in sales, and we all represent the place at which we work. Many forget that.

    I may give a place a second chance if I’ve been a longtime customer, but then it also depends on what turned me off and how the mishap was handled. There was a gas station upstate that had the nastiest help. I complained to headquarters–sent them a blog post in which I called out the behavior but didn’t mention the brand, matter of fact. Those people were soon gone and ever since, the station–on the way to the railroad and a convenient spot for us to fill up–has the nicest staff imaginable.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Judy,

    I’ve been to Nordstroms a few times but many years ago. There are none near my office or home. I’ve heard only good things about the service there.

    Perhaps people have no clue about what service could be or they dont care or they don’t like their jobs [which should not reflect on how they treat victim-shoppers] or the culture where they work doesn’t reward service or they haven’t enjoyed the happy reactions of people who are well-served. It is hard to tell why people snarl at customers or greet with angry expressions. I’ve come across this recently at so-called upscale venues.

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