Although in an ideal world, retail stores would simply be a matter of you going to the store, finding what you need, making your purchase, and leaving to go on your merry way, it typically doesn’t work out that way every time. If you are new to the store, you may be unfamiliar with where certain products are located. Or you may even be there not to simply purchase something new, but to get a replacement on something that is defective (or just to get a refund altogether). Whenever these deviations from the normal retail store experience occur, it almost always involves customer service.
And luckily for you, most retail stores have great customer service – or at least solid. Keep in mind that many of these stores are operating on very low profit margins and thus need to do whatever it takes to drive in business. Because of this fact, companies will typically make it a point to provide solid customer service for their shoppers.
The first thing that this means is that the employees that work at these retail stores are very friendly and helpful. If you need to find something quickly and don’t want to waste your doing it, they are there to make sure that happens. Compare this to online retail stores that often have very confusing menus and layouts making it difficult to find exactly what you are looking for (at least in a timely manner).
Retail stores will also typically have very good refund and replacement policies, meaning if you don’t like what you purchased, or simply found something wrong with the product, you can quickly and easily get the refund or replacement you need – all accomplished with the help of the previously mentioned friendly employees. Getting refunds and replacements can be stressful, but this is precisely where the friendly customer service can really make a difference and give you an enjoyable experience.
Now compare that sort of pleasant experience with the customer service often seen in online stores. For one, because the communications are never face-to-face, either involving just email communications or in some cases phone communications, there is little need for the customer service people to be polite to the customers. Many online companies also have the audacity to give very poor refund and replacement policies. Luckily, if you pay by credit card, you can at least go through your credit card company to get your money back, but that is still a huge hassle. And even still, you have basically no shot of getting a replacement product through the online company if that is what your goal is.
And what’s even worse is the fact that some online companies have absolutely no legitimate customer service whatsoever. Many times they will just provide an email address for you to email your inquiries to, and at that point they either simply do not respond or take days upon days before responding, neither of which are very good options for a customer who urgently needs assistance. That is why when you shop at retail stores, you can at least assure yourself of an adequate level of customer service, if for no other reason than the fact that you are interacting with an employee face-to-face.