I have experienced bad customer service countless times, from companies that I no longer shop at or deal with, because I highly value my time, and don't want to risk wasting it at these locations any longer. BestBuy, buy.com, Sears, Circuit City, CompUSA, Jewel/Osco, Dominicks, Target Direct, Mac Warehouse, PC Warehouse, United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, NorthWorst Airlines, and others come to mind.
It's hardly any surprise then that many of these businesses are struggling, or have gone out of business.
If they would stop quibbling over minutiae, and bend over backwards to serve the people who want to give them money - then they'd be profitable for the long term. But unfortunately, many only focus on the short-term and it's done at their peril.
By way of example: I've been shopping at a grocery store ever since moving into the town I live in (30+ years) - great food, great selection, good prices, and most importantly - their motto is "We Bend Over Backwards To Serve YOU!" ... and they do!
When I was in high school, I got to know customers that had been shopping there for 40+ years. Now, 20 years later, I see many of those same customers. How do you engender 60 years of loyalty? Simple - stop quibbling, get customers what they want when they want it, if something goes wrong - take it back, apologize and ask what you can do to fix it, open counters when even ONE person is standing in line (until you have all your counters open, you're wasting my time if I'm standing in line), unload the carts, bag the groceries, load the cars, take it to the customer's car, deliver it. Whatever it takes - just handle it.
Companies that fail to give great customer service do so at their own peril. Those who DO give great customer service, advertise that fact, and practice what they claim get my business.
David Data, Inc.