Sell Customer Service First

RJ Carr
5 min readMay 15, 2019

I recently visited a major chain store that sells musical and audio equipment. I wanted to buy a microphone pop-screen for some audio work I am planning.

I found the item I needed and also discovered a microphone shock-mount. I walked to the cash register which was an area marked off by a large group of glass display cases arranged into a square with cash registers/computers on two of the four cases and room for cashiers inside the space.

One employee inside the square, with his back to me, was talking to a customer about microphones, going on and on to a man who was not buying anything. Another came over to the other cash register/computer to look up some number, passing me, looking through me, he never acknowledged my presence or reason for being at a cash register/computer. He did his inventory research with his back to me. I continued waiting. There was no “someone will be right with you sir,” or “I can help you over here,” nothing. I am waiting there, debit card in hand, just needing to pay for my items. If there was a self-service register, I would have paid and finished my transaction, there was not and I continued to be ignored.

After waiting and being ignored long enough, I finally left my items on the counter and walked out, never to return. I then went to Amazon and found the same items for a cheaper price.

According to recent reports, that chain is on the list of companies many believe will not be around in a year or two. It would not surprise me.

In today’s world, customer service is essential in brick and mortar stores.

After I got out of the Navy, I ended up for a time working for one of those temporary employment companies, there I got to see how other companies operated. One international chain of coffee and pastries runs by a simple principle: If you are one of their vendors, you supply the best of your products. If you give one bad shipment to this company, you are dropped from their vendor list.

If you run a brick and mortar store, whether its a chain or a mom and pop operation, do you not think that your customers think the same way?

Customer service is one of the reasons that people walk into your store. If you do not supply it, then they can find another store online that will…