CFA and Publix are two establishments who've got customer service down. They've identified their main customer base and they cater to it. I would argue that the customer base for each of these stores is the same...moms with young kids.
Chick-fil-a's got the playground, the sticky placemats, the option to trade in your toy for ice cream.
And we've already gone over what Publix has (double shopping carts with steering wheels, free cookies and balloons, free diapers in the bathrooms, etc.).
Hobby Lobby has got a lot going for it. It's a Christian company and I feel good about spending my money there. In fact, there have been numerous times I've called it my favorite store. However, after today, I don't know that I can say that anymore.
Relive it with me...
After I finagled Grey's carseat into the much-too-small cart, which didn't leave room for me to put Sam in the top, so he had to walk, I headed in to wait, in a pretty long line, to return some paper. Imagine this, an almost two, crazy little boy in Hobby Lobby. He is NOT allowed to not be in a cart in there for good reason BUT, I didn't have much choice because I forgot the double stroller. Strike one for me.
Anyway, I'm trying to exchange some paper I bought a while ago to get some for Grey's birth announcements and Sam's birthday party invitations.
I've got my receipt. Great, right? Nope. Strike number two for me.
The cashier informs me that my receipt is over 60 days old so she can't do anything for me. She won't even do an even exchange, which is what I wanted.
By this time, I've had to pick up Sam who was running around the registers, and he has begun to squirm out of my arms to touch the credit card swiper...oh, and he's whining :).
I let the lady know this store has allowed me to do this very same thing many times before. She just stares at me.
So, I ask her if I didn't have the receipt, would I be able to get store credit...and pick up my receipt to stick back in my bag. She informs me that she has to follow store policy and that if I come back through her line, she won't be able to do anything.
I understand an employee needing and wanting to follow store policy. She was doing the right thing. What I don't understand is why the store policy allows someone to walk in without a receipt and get store credit for any item but they have a time limit on when you can EXCHANGE something if you come in with a receipt for it. How does that make any sense?
I know one reason all these stores are cracking down on returns, ahem Target, is because they're losing money on shoplifting. But hello, if I can get something out of Hobby Lobby, then walk back in and "return" it for store credit YOU ARE LOSING MONEY. If I buy something and a couple months later, come in to exchange it with my receipt, you are not losing money. You are breaking even and keeping one of your most frequent customers happy.
Strike number three for me was not thinking to ask to talk to a manager. Surely they would've had a different response. Don't you think?