When retailers fail to deliver adequate customer service

  1. When retailers fail to deliver adequate customer service, there isn’t much customers can do except shop elsewhere—that is, unless they are willing to go the extra mile. Some retail experts believe that American retailers may not be very creative. A few years ago, a student of one of the textbook authors began collecting information on the executives of any company that failed to meet his service expectations. The list was rather long and covered a wide range of firms. There was the local newspaper for failing to put in all the previous night’s sports scores, an airline who left him stuck on the tarmac while on a spring break vacation, a supercenter whose checkout scanner always seemed to overcharge him on “sale items, the local cable company for just plain lousy service, and so on. Well, anyway, all of these retailers had websites that listed the top executives from president (or head of local operations) to the manager of customer service. For those that listed e-mail addresses, he just copied those. For others, he just compiled his own list of names where a John Jones became johnjones, jjones, or jonesj at the firm’s e-mail address. Then he set up a new Yahoo e-mail account. Finally, on Christmas Eve afternoon, he sent all these names e-mails, wishing them a Merry Christmas. What he got back was an inbox full of out-of-office replies, complete with contact information including direct numbers to reach them. In the past when he tried to reach them, he had problems with voicemail routing systems and never could reach these folks. Now, however, he had a list of correct e-mail addresses and direct phone numbers. Pity anybody who failed to deliver the service he expected (or demanded) the following year. a. Prepare a short memo describing what you think the author should have done when he heard about this behavior. Be sure to include in this memo what you think of the student’s behavior. Was the student right or wrong in his actions? Be sure to consider the three elements of customer service and how these elements also correspond to the pretransaction, transaction, and posttransaction components of customer service. 2. You can get up-to-date demographic data one of two ways. You can go to the government document section of your local library and use the most current issue of Statistical Abstract of the United States. Or you can use your computer to connect with the Census Bureau’s website (www.census.gov). A series of easy directions will guide you to the most current available data for any geographic area—from the entire nation to any county or town in any state. You can easily specify what kind of information you want. Also since the census does more than just count people, you can obtain breakdowns on different variables beyond those used in this chapter. For instance, they collect statistics regarding occupations and average

beyond those used in this chapter. For instance, they collect statistics regarding occupations and average pay per occupation (Table S2401), average monthly mortgage by state (Table S0201), education levels by state (Table S0201), and median home value by state (Table GCT2510). (Note: The tables provided here correspond to those in the U.S. Bureau of Census, American Fact Finder. Table numbers may change as new editions are published.) a. Select an occupation and use Table S2401 to list the average pay for that occupation. b. Using your home state (or another state you are interested in), use Table S0201 to find the average monthly mortgage in that state. c. Choose a state other than the state you used for question b, and use Table S0201 to describe the education levels for that state. d. Choose a third state and use Table GCT2510 to find the median home value in that state.