Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Northline Express & Microcenter are on my list . . .

For those of you that know me fairly well, you know that I have an issue with bad customer service. As a person working in retail, food service, etc. it is your job to be nice to and assist your customers. Please don't roll your eyes when I ask if you have a particular product that I had been unable to locate on my own. Please don't sigh when I interrupt your phone call with your boyfriend to ask you about your pricematch policy. Please, at least once during our interaction, smile or say "thank you". I can guarantee that I will have smiled and said "thank you" to you before our interaction is done. Also, if you don't like that job, then find another one. I say this as a person that worked in retail for much of my life. Even after earning my Master's Degree I worked in retail while I looked for a job in my field as well as to supplement my income after I found one. I know that it can be a difficult and frustrating line of work. When customers are angry, they take it out on you, but you still must be nice. Often you can't fix whatever it is that they are upset about, either because the computers won't allow it, or because you don't have the authority to do it. You will be called names and threatened by people that don't know anything about you. I get that. I understand that some of the general public is unappreciative. Please don't begin our interaction assuming that I am as well. Unfortunately I have found in recent years that bad customer service is becoming an epidemic. I have begun to expect people to be rude and unfriendly. In fact, when I come across CSRs that are civil, I'm happy. When I am fortunate enough to encounter CSRs that are pleasant, I am OVERJOYED. It makes my entire day, maybe even week! Amazingly, in the past week or two I have been almost giddy thanks to two stores, Northline Express and Microcenter.

I'll begin with Microcenter. A couple of weeks ago, Microcenter had a Wii Remote posted for $20. I immediately ordered two to complete our collection. It turns out that the posting was a price mistake. Most companies will send out a mass email stating that an item was a price mistake, that they are not going to be honoring it, and that your order has been canceled. I often search for deals and am not surprised nor angry when this happens. However, I must say that I was thrilled when I received a follow-up email stating that the item was a price mistake, that they were working with the manufacturer to see how many they could get in stock, and that they would be filling the orders (one per customer) until the supplies ran out. I have received my one remote and will be stopping by my Microcenter next time I go to the "big city" to purchase another one at full price. I will support companies that have integrity and do what they can to show customers that they are valued.

Northline Express is a store based in Roscommon, MI that sells "Quality Home Leisure Products" (from their website). I'm not exactly sure what that is, but I have purchased heaters, and cast iron pans from them, and am looking into some of their mosquito products for the spring/summer months. In fact, just this past week I was looking to purchase my second heater from them as a gift for my husband, Doc. He spends much of his time working in his barn and often complains about the cold. I knew that they carried the product I wanted because I had purchased from them before. However, I was able to find the product for a lower price elsewhere. I contacted them via email and received a quick response back that they would be willing to match the price, but I needed to call them to order it. To be honest, I was a little nervous. I don't like calling places because I'd prefer not to hear the sighs, frustration, and condescension in their voices. I much prefer to be able to ignore that via email or online chat. When I called I was shocked at how kind and friendly the CSR was. She took my information,thanked me for my order, and said that she hoped I had a wonderful day . . . with sincerity! I found myself smiling all day after our interaction. In fact, I have been smiling since then, as the product arrived well before the expected delivery date. I've bragged about the company to at least 30 people in person since that day and am now posting it here for anyone to see. I hope that if you need any "Quality Home Leisure Products" Northline Express is the first place you look. I can guarantee they will be the first on mine!

*Note: I have not received any compensation, products, discounts, etc for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Sometimes when you find a product/company that is this great you just want to shout it from the rooftops.


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