CHAMBER CHAT: big box stores and the death of customer service

Happy Friday, Eagle Grove!

I think a lot about customer service, and how it’s a rare thing thing these days. 

The greeting when entering. The chitchat while your browse. The expertise of knowing products and services inside and out. The truthful input about why one brand or model or dish or service  may be a better choice for you than another. Oh, and my favorite–my hard and fast deal breaker about if someone gets my money–the acknowledgement of your existence when they’re super busy and just can’t get to you right away. 

How many times have you been in a business and they look  everywhere but at you because they’re “too busy?” Drives me nuts. I give them 2 minutes of that nonsense, and then I will leave and go somewhere else. It’s not that I’m unreasonable. I just know from experience it takes virtually no effort or time to greet someone. I’ll wait ten times as long if I know I’m seen.

We often talk about how much spending money locally helps the local economy, how much local businesses give back, but let’s focus on what it gets YOU when you keep your money in Eagle Grove.

You get to connect with your neighbors. You get a personal experience. You get unique products. You get actual, real-life, honest-to-goodness customer service in a world that seems to have largely forgotten how to give a customer a positive experience because they give them a dirt cheap…whatever it is.  

Sorry not sorry, but I’ll choose and re-choose the positive experience EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And you know why? Because my money isn’t just money. It’s hours of my life. It’s the time I’ve worked instead of snuggling my dog or going on adventures with my husband or being with my family. It’s vacations I put off. It’s one-third of my life.  It’s too important to squander on a business that doesn’t appreciate it. 

And you know what? Local businesses get it–and they get it because their businesses are bigger portions of their lives than most of us who work a 40 hour week for someone else. Your money, your hours of your life, are their livelihood, and they treat it, and you, with the respect and care you deserve because they appreciate it more than you probably know.  If, by chance, I pay a little extra…so be it. I get something even more than the thing I just bought or the service I just procured–I get expertise and a great experience and care.

Is a big box store that doesn’t need your business in a town that thrives whether you spend money there or not gonna do that? I think not.

And THAT’s another reason, arguably the biggest reason, why we put our money where our home is. 

“You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be too easily duplicated. But a strong customer service culture cannot be copied.” – Jerry Fritz

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Eagle Grove Chamber & Development
212 W. Broadway, PO Box 2
Eagle Grove, IA 50533

Phone: 515-448-4821
Fax: 515-603-6119