Customer Service Flub Hurts Wal-Mart

A customer service flub by Wal-Mart employees has put the retail giant on the front page. Small to medium sized businesses can be hurt just as easily by customer service issues. Make it a priority to keep your customer first and your brand will flourish as a result.

Customer Service Faux Pas

Wal-mart employees embarrass cancer survivor. You would probably be horrified to see a story like this one about your business on a news site or on the evening news. Wal-Mart employees allegedly gave an unnamed customer such a hard time when she tried to return a purchase that she eventually felt the need to show employees the scars she had received as part of her cancer treatment. Huffington Post

Retailer apologizes to customer for poor treatment. Wal-Mart apologized to the customer attempting to return a $13.00 book after employees questioned the validity of her photo ID because chemotherapy had caused her to loose her long blond hair shown in the picture. An apology is the least your business should do when attempting to correct a customer service error.

Wal-Mart introduces self-service kiosks. The mega-retailer is also introducing 10,000 self-service kiosks in hundreds of stores this year. Automation can improve customer experience, but some feel it can also limit the human touch. In fact, even as Wal-Mart gears up, some retailers are already dropping their self-service efforts. Computerworld

Improving your Customer Service

Pay attention to customer complaints. Wal-Mart has learned the hard way that paying attention to complaints can help improve customer experience. Customers are more comfortable with voicing complaints, according to research. Small business owners can learn from this too. bOnline Blog

Under promise and over deliver. Business consultants Harry and Sally Vaishnav blog about promising more than you can deliver and its consequences. Customers will always be satisfied with your products or services when you keep your word. Small Biz Viewpoints

20 tips for better customer service. Valentine Belonwu shares these pointers for better customer service. Here are some suggestions to improve customer experience: Be responsive, keep customers informed, and show them you care. Small Business Trends

Here are more suggestions. Some investments will improve customer experience even more. Check out the competition. Build a team. Gather customer feedback. Wal-Mart and other businesses have a lot to learn to improve service. KSL Training

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