Normally, I wouldn’t share reviews of grocery stores on a blog focused on digital marketing and customer engagement. However, I think customer service is evolving and I want to share a story about my trip to the local Walmart Neighborhood Market. It goes something like this…
I had a list of things I wanted to pick up, and after being somewhat disappointed by the local Kroger, I decided to check out the Walmart Neighborhood Market in a neighboring suburb. I live very close to downtown, so our grocery selection is extremely limited. During my time in the “market”–if you can call it that–I was appalled by the lack of customer service and common courtesy. So much so, that as I left, I checked into Foursquare and informed @Walmart that I had the worst shopping experience of my life.
Customer service has evolved in a way that people don’t write letters or call 1-800 numbers, they take their concerns online, just like I did with my Foursquare check-in and automated tweet.
Surprisingly, within minutes, @walmart replied to my tweet asking me to e-mail them details about my experience. I’m really looking forward to their reply.
Here is the e-mail that I sent them, with full disclosure on how dissatisfied I was. Let’s see how this plays out…
Thanks for responding to my tweet, Moni. I just got home after shopping at the Walmart Neighborhood Market in East Nashville, which is a few miles from my house in Germantown. I wanted to check it out because I was disappointed with the quality and selection at the local Kroger, boy did I make a mistake!
Upon entering the store, I was disappointed that there were not any shopping baskets. Since I live alone, I don’t like to have to push a buggy through a store for what should be a quick trip. On my list were items to make bleu cheese stuffed burgers, fruit salad and frozen sweet potato fries.
While looking at berries for the fruit salad (most of which were overly ripe), someone walked behind me and took my shopping cart. This was an issue because I had to set down my selections and walk back outside to retrieve another cart.
As I was trying to select melons for the fruit salad, I was disappointed with the quality. When I went to select vegetables for the burgers, there was a swarm of fruit flies surrounding the onions, most of which were not in very good shape. There was a very poor selection of tomatoes as well. (I also noticed that the produce prices were significantly higher than neighboring grocery stores.)
When I went to retrieve hamburger buns, I noticed that nearly every single basket in the “bakery” section was empty, so I was forced to get pre-packaged buns. Looking through the store for blue cheese was a worthless exertion of energy.
Finally, after I had collected the necessary ingredients (after wandering around the store aimlessly, trying to gather them), I proceeded to the checkout. Typically, I know that “self check out” can be slow and a hassle, so I waited in line at the single check out lane that was open. Sadly, the person was just standing by the register with a customer “waiting” for something, I’m not sure what.
I proceeded to the self check-out lane and was told by the machine that I needed assistance from someone in the store. There was no one at the check stand, so I waited patiently, when the clerk came up, she thrust her fingers against the machine, pressed a bunch of numbers and walked off without uttering a word to me. When I went to pay, it said that I still required assistance, so she returned, this time clearly frustrated, and mashed a bunch of numbers again and walked away.
When she walked away, I contemplated leaving everything on the end of the check out, not completing my transaction and leaving. However, I had already wasted enough of my precious time and paid for my groceries and left.
The condition of this store, attitude of staff and selection of product is atrocious. I have never before felt like I was inconveniencing someone in a situation where I was the customer. As someone that works in the customer service industry, I must say that this was by far one of my WORST experiences ever.
Thank you for affording me the opportunity to share my experience. I look forward to seeing how you will make this right.
Have you had a bad customer experience? Share it below in the comments. I’d like to hear what you have to say…