Compare: Customer care.

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I experienced two kinds of customer service today. I went down town to buy a new pair of pants. I went to two different clothing stores. Store A) Medium priced shop placed a bit outside the main street. Store B) High priced shop placed in the middle of the main street. Where did I end up spending my money? The correct answer is actually both.

Store A
I like their style, and the prices are ok. I notice that they are never crowded. Why is that? Location might be the right answer here. It is not far away from the main street, but far enough that I can’t see it when I am in the middle of the crowded main street. I was looking for a new pair of pants that I can use at work. The lady working here was polite, asked me if I saw something I like. “Yes, I like those pants”- I replied. She then focused on the size, and found my size; “Short and wide” But all pants had the very same length. This means that I should have been a lot taller. I asked if they could adjust the length of the legs. No, she said. Our service is expensive and it takes a long time. I do not care; I need shorter legs on my pants, time and price is no object. That is my choice not hers. But she told me that she could recommend a tailor shop that work fast and are cheap. This means that I need to buy a pair of pants, and find this tailor to complete my purchase. The pants cost $100. I bought the cool shirt I wanted and left.
Store B
I have never been to this store before, as I think it is a bit expensive. But I decided to try them out today as the posters in the window told me that they had a sale right now. 30 % off. I noticed right away the friendliness of the employees. A lady approached me and asked me what I was looking for. I said that I am looking for a new pair of pants. What do you need them for, she asked me. Work, I said. Well then you will need this fabric, it breaths and they are hard-wearing. If you want them for work, you might want to buy two pairs she said. These pants are on sale ending up costing $138 after a 30 % discount. As you already know, my size is still wide and short. And as I specified my size to her, she immediately replied, they might be long for you, but that is no problem, we will fix that for you. Did it take a long time? No, just a few days. Does it cost anything? No, it is included. Do I need to bring them anywhere? No, I can pick them up in the same store. I still did not buy them, but I found another cool shirt that was on sale. Used to cost $198, I got it for $60. But before I bought it, and I was actually leaving empty handed she asked me if I want a cup of coffee? Right across the street there is a coffee house, and here I can get it for free, without spending money? My wife found the shirt and told me I would look like a hunk in that one. That is why I bought it. Store B is not crowded either, even if they are in the middle of the crowd, because it is an expensive store.

The comparison
Store A: Affordable pricing, poor solutions, poor location, pale service. Cost for pair of pants: $100. Expense at tailor shop: $40. Extra work load on me? Yes, I would need to go to the tailor shop myself. I would need to find it as I do not know where it is. Did she ask for my needs? Maybe I was looking for a new pair of pant to go skating in? Yeah right, but she did not know that. If I would spend my money here, I would spend a total of $140, and a lot of extra time and effort to make them fit.

Store B: Expensive pricing, great solution, great location, excellent service. Cost for pair of pant: $138. Extra work load on me? No. I can pick up my pants next week at the same place. Actually close to my bus stop, adding a short walking distance as a bonus. She figured out what my needs was, and met them. She told me about fabrics and how different fabrics work. So I learned that if I bought the one pair in store A: I would not be comfortable at work, and she did not know about store A in the first place. And I could get a free cup of coffee. How about that! I also bought a shirt on sale. I did not try it on, as XL seems to fit fine always. She told me that if it was the wrong size I must come and get another one.

Love a great shirt.
I have a lot of shirts; I do not need new ones. I do on the other hand need a new pair of proper pants. Typical me, I end up with two things I do not need, and are still without new pants. But I am going back to town without my impatient four year old son hanging all over me. Guess where I will end up doing my business?

This is a great experience to share; I am always fascinated by customer care, both good and bad and by what makes it greater. Have you had similar experiences lately? Please share.

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