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Author Topic: Hats off to a great company...  (Read 2513 times)
brojcol
Jimmy
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« on: November 24, 2006, 03:34:46 PM »

Hey all,

With so much bad news in the world today, I want to tell you a great story about customer service.  My wife and I just moved from Mississippi to Pennsylvania and the first thing we did was find our local Wal-Mart...made us feel right at home.  We were looking for a big screen TV and just happened to be waited on by the manager of the electronics department.  We found the one we wanted but it was a little out of our price range.  The manager said, "but we will apply the Mississippi discount to you'se guys and see what happens."  It brought the price down considerably. 

Then, of course I realized I sold my truck, bus and just about everything else before we moved and I realized, the new TV wouldn't fit in our SUV.  Wal-Mart manager to the rescue again.  He informed me that he would just throw it in the back of his truck and drop it off on his way home.  Unbelievable service. 

I love Wal-Mart and what it means to this country.  If you love Wal-Mart too, go here: http://www.forwalmart.com/

and let your feelings be known.

Jimmy
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2006, 05:23:56 PM »

Jimmy,

Glad you had a great expierence with the biggest employer in the country...

Usually you always hear people bashing them. Huh...

Nick-
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2006, 05:44:30 PM »

We regularly shop at WalMart to pay them back for all the nights we have overnighted in their various parking lots.  Camp WallyMart is our favorite stop when we are moving long distances in a short time.

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« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2006, 07:33:36 PM »

Jimmy,

Nice to hear of your positive experience!

I also appreciate the consideration they have shown to the RV community in general in regards to overnight parking.

Like Bob we recipricate the favor with our business.

Cliff
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2006, 08:09:17 PM »

Jimmy,

Your post sounds as if it came straight from WM's new publicity operation on which it is spending millions trying to repair a damaged reputation, If it is I resent your using the forum for this purpose. I hope not because it is pretty underhanded if it is. Forwalmart, of course, is financed by WM. All you have to do is read a newspaper to find out all this.

Yes, I shop at WM and appreciate their RV parking policy and in our really small town we appreciate the store convenience and the service is second to none. Plus I live in their home state.

It is a great store for the customer but "I love Wal-Mart and what it means to this country" is a little bit too much. It is just a store, nothing more. It is not a patriotic institution, it is a business.

However, in spite of all this the fact is that they treat their employees like crap, pay really low wages and have minimum health benefits. The Walton family members are all billionaires and some employees are on food stamps. I have first hand knowledge of how they treat employees.

If you want to find an example of a good employer just check out the employee policies of Costco.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2006, 12:43:23 PM »

Hi GUSC,

I belive that Jimmy had a great expierence with an employee that represents WalMart, and would like to inform us of

his pleasure that is a very rare occourence theese days. I'm glad to read his post here because, I'm a frequent shopper

and, user of overnight parking. Boy, I wish I would recieve service like that here....

Many Reguards
Nick-
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« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2006, 07:44:05 PM »

Nick,

I couldn't agree more - if it is genuine and didn't come from WMs new publicity department. That is what it sounds like to me and I'm waiting for "Jimmy" to say that it is not actually from WM.

I am one of WM's best customers because in our small town there isn't much else and I make use of their RV parking policy, which I appreciate. We buy most all our groceries and just about everything else from WM both here and on the road. It is a great place to shop.

What I don't appreciate is their use of propaganda which is made to appear to be from regular citizens. WM does not need to do this, what they need to do is pay a decent salary and give their employees good medical benefits. If they did this they would not be getting all the bad publicity and getting sued all the time. Costco does this and they are doing very well.
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2006, 07:52:54 PM »

GUSC,

You have a very good piont..  However, Jimmy is not one of their VP's  LOL...


Nick-
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JerryH
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2006, 04:26:31 AM »

Being a Devil's advocate here...

Although I am guilty of going to and purchasing from Wal-Mart ... I wonder whether the type of customer service that Jimmy received was indicitive of Wal-Marts and their customer service protocols, or whether that particular Wal-Mart and individual opted to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Wal-Mart, Home Depots, and the like are ... at this point ... necessary evils and some locations have driven out the local stores.  They've somewhat eroded their particular market, some of the companies really do not take care of (all of) of their employees.  Again, a certain "necessary evil" and frustration with these "big" stores.

Given the choice, subject to timing and location, I choose to support local businesses and keep our dollar in the community.

But, I'd attribute good customer service to the individual in many instances rather than the company.  Yes, it might be their "policy" to provide great customer service and to what end -- it's the "person" who actually pulls it off and make it happen.

Just my $0.02,
Jerry H.
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« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2006, 05:26:01 AM »

Most of these BIG Box stores operate in a similar fashion. I was talking to an employee at Home Depot yesterday while he was re-keying a lock for me. I commented that as busy as the store was and being Christmas season, I would think they would have more floor employees working as well as more than 3 check out lanes open. He commented that they always operate with as few employees as they can get by, but the Home Depot CEO received a 15 million dollars last year in salary and bonuses. Jack
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« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2006, 05:37:06 AM »

Home Depot, Lowes, Wal Mart are all the same. They hire people who for the most part don't know anything about anything. They just stock the shelves, well maybe sorta. Once in a while you find someone who is knowledgeable, but very rare. Maybe you could teach them something. Besides they probably only make minimum wage anyway. Not much incentive there. Other stores have the same issues also.

If you do find a good employee let them know you appreciate them, everyone needs to hear that once in a while. Besides its Christmas, or should I say the Holiday Season to be politically correct.

I just know what I need, go get it and try to get out as fast as I can. I'm not much for shopping anyways, ask my wife.

Enjoy whatever you do!

Paul
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« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2006, 07:54:56 AM »




Home Depot, Lowes, Wal Mart are all the same. They hire people who for the most part don't know anything about anything. They just stock the shelves, well maybe sorta. Once in a while you find someone who is knowledgeable, but very rare. Maybe you could teach them something. Besides they probably only make minimum wage anyway. Not much incentive there. Other stores have the same issues also.
If you do find a good employee let them know you appreciate them, everyone needs to hear that once in a while. Besides its Christmas, or should I say the Holiday Season to be politically correct.

I just know what I need, go get it and try to get out as fast as I can. I'm not much for shopping anyways, ask my wife.

Enjoy whatever you do!

Paul

Besides they probably only make minimum wage anyway. Not much incentive there. Other stores have the same issues also.

I sincerely doubt that a few dollars more per hour would increase their incentive. My experience with hiring entry level employees is that a few will exhibit incentive, but the majority will do the very least amount of work necessary
to keep their job and nothing more.
Richard
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« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2006, 10:04:45 AM »

Uh, I don't work for Wal-Mart, nor does any of my family.  I don't own any shares in Wal-Mart, nor does any of my family (that I know of).  I was looking for a way to let the company know they have an exemplery employee and came across the Families for Walmart Website. 

I have no particular axe to grind here, but just wanted to let everyone know of my experience with a great employee (by extension, if I have good experience with a great employee, then I afford that to the company who employed them).  After reading my original post, I must admit that it did look a little obnoxious and I actually emailed Nick to ask him to remove it.  But his response was that neither of us thought it would be much of a problem. 

If I offended anyone with my post, I sincerely apologize.  I can see Gus' point and I don't disagree with your assesment because if I read the post from your point of view, I would probably think the same thing.  I didn't mean to create a ruckus.  I'm going to go and remove my foot from my mouth now, but I will be more careful of my posts in the future.   Wink

Jimmy 
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« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2006, 10:13:00 AM »

I for one was glad to read your experience. It is nice to hear something positive these days no matter who it is about even Wally's World.

No one company is perfect in all ways. There will always be negative said.

I will shop to find the best price, and buy from them.

It is all about personal perspective.

Paul
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2006, 12:54:28 PM »

Jimmy,

There two kinds of people in this world.. Negitive and positive..

You are a positive and positive people are the ones that make dreams come true... Just by looking at the good in

people, or busisnesses, no matter what the negitive is. This  is what makes change happen!

Negitive people are the ones that put you down and complain about everything. Nothing but Negitive things happen in this mode..

Jimmy.... If you are posting about a positive circumstance, Don't ever be afraid to do so..... I WANT TO HEAR IT!

Nick-
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« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2006, 05:36:35 PM »

Jimmy,

I also appreciated your Positive comments.

One theme comes up over and over on customers perceptions and opinions.

If a customer has a Positive experience they will tell a few people, If Negative they will tell 10 or more.

If I run into someone doing a Great job or service with a Positive attitude, I used to tell there Boss, now I try to recruit them as an

an employee. Grin

Of course, if there not interested I still let the Manager/Boss know what a good person they have!

Cliff
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« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2006, 07:08:46 PM »

Don't know much about Wal Mart, but around this area, Lowes and Home Depot hire some knowledgeable folk. They don't hire enough cashiers, and sometimes may be a little short=staffed, but the guys and gals working in the stores in the Charlotte area are generally knowledgeble and willing to assist....once you get their attention. These are great places to have. With a little creative thinking, almost any problem related to interior and utility (plumbing and electrical) bus conversion can be solved.
Don't know how you guys without a Lowes or Home Depot get though life. Huh I'd have to suffer through withdrawls.
Best, JR

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« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2006, 07:30:16 PM »

Jimmy,

I sincerely apologize to you. I was convinced your post was another WM ringer of which there are quite a few floating around these days. They don't need to do this, they are treating us all like we are idiots and I resent it. Instead of all the millions they are spending on damage control and paying off lawsuits they could probably spend far less in just doing the right thing. Their top management seems incapable of recognizing this??

I'm even more resentful because WM headquarters is in my home state, it is embarrasing that their top management is so insensitive to real people. The employees are great folks. I have always gotten good service at WM stores. The employees are not the problem. Some of them may not know their merchandise but the large majority will go out of their way to help customers. Like anywhere else, there will always be a few duds.

I feel even worse because I noticed in another post that you are a fellow 4104 owner, now I really feel bad!! You didn't create the ruckus, I did, and the foot-in-mouth is mine, not yours. I get hot every time I think about how easy all their problems could be solved.

I think some of you misread my posts. I was not being negative about the WM employee. Reading my posts will confirm that. The fact is that I was rooting for the employees all along. It is pretty clear that my complaint is with top management and their propaganda.
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Clarke Echols
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2006, 06:42:15 AM »

Most of these BIG Box stores operate in a similar fashion. I was talking to an employee at Home Depot yesterday while he was re-keying a lock for me. I commented that as busy as the store was and being Christmas season, I would think they would have more floor employees working as well as more than 3 check out lanes open. He commented that they always operate with as few employees as they can get by, but the Home Depot CEO received a 15 million dollars last year in salary and bonuses.  Jack

Home Depot shows up low on the list in customer satisfaction/quality-of-service surveys.  Bob Nardelli, the CEO, has decided to "fix" it.  How?  In the local HD store (don't know if it's nationwide or not), in order to "improve" customer service, each sales clerk is required to sell two HD credit card accounts per day, and two "extended service plans".  So if someone buys a power tool and the clerk wants to get "credit" for the sale, the clerk must follow the customer through the store until they get to the cashier's station and fill out the paperwork.  Otherwise, the cashier gets credit for it.  Meanwhile, if another customer needs help, the one looking for the sale credit is "busy".  The local employees here are, for the most part, really good.  It's the bone-heads running the company and some of the supervisory staff that are the problem.  But how does selling ESPs or credit card accounts "improve" customer service/satisfaction?  After all, ESPs are a major source of profit, and if your Maytag appliance fails under the plan, a local independent Maytag dealer is the one called for "service".  But if he didn't sell the machine, you go to the bottom of his list (a good friend of mine is the local Maytag dealer, so that's how I know -- he told me).

So I decided to email Nardelli with a suggestion on how to improve the problem.  I went to the HD customer web site and filled out an email under "Contact Us".  When I clicked on "Send", the HD web server returned an "Illegal Request" error.  I'm using the Mozilla Firefox browser which is very popular.  I wonder if anyone at HD actually tests their web pages before posting them!  It really damages their perceived quality of service when that happens, but how do you contact someone who can't be contacted?  This sort of thing continually reminds me of "The Emperor's New Clothes", the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

There is a locally owned small lumber yard less than a mile from my home.  I often find prices are as much as 30% cheaper than at the Depot.  I buy there whenever I can.  Or I try to deal with wholesalers through my own business instead.

My suggestion to HD on how to improve service was the same I recommend for ALL companies, large or small:  Every manager from the CEO down to the store manager should spend one full day every week out on the sales floor talking to *actual customers* so they can understand what the customer sees and needs.  This includes big-shot bankers answering the phone or standing in a teller line, retail store executives working at the returned goods station, etc.

These hot-shots sit in their offices with their MBA degrees, having gone to school to learn how to run somebody else's business, sitting in classes taught by professors who have never run a real business, using a text book written by another PhD who's never run a business.  I worked at Hewlett-Packard when the co-founders owned 60% of the stock.  They treated and rewarded employees (who had obviously made them successful) well.  25% of pre-tax profit went to employees in retirement and profit sharing benefits.  When they faded away and Wall Street got
control of the company, it went to the proverbial place in a handbasket in very short order because Wall Street is also run by clueless MBAs who see employees as a liability, not an asset you can't survive without.

Two things amaze me: big companies can turn a profit, and small companies can compete against the technology and massive resources of the big companies.  There is so much inefficiency in big outfits that it takes huge gross profit margins to cover the overhead, and that's what seems to balance the equation, competitively speaking.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2006, 06:57:13 AM by Clarke Echols » Logged
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