EEL Marketing P.O. Box 5235, Vail, CO.
81658 (970) 690-7600 To Whom It May Concern From: Mr. Monroe – EEL MARKETING On Wednesday, August 30th, 2017, I was on my way to a meeting and stopped into the Sams located at 4827 S. Wadsworth, Littleton, CO. They had some shirts I had spotted on a previous visit when I had waited for a prescription to be filled.
I picked up the shirt and used self-checkout. Right before I walked into the meeting I threw on the shirt and noticed it had a broken button. As I was quite early, I decided to run back to Sams and switch out the shirt for a second one I had seen of the same style, size, price, and color. Pulling into Sams parking lot, I grabbed the shirt and receipt believing that the exchange could be accomplished quickly.
Leave one and pick up the other. I parked, rushed into the store with my shirt and receipt and proceeded to customer service. After arriving in line, with one person in front of me, I was accosted by a Sams employee, who began an attempt to belittle and demean me in front of other customers and employees. She stated that I should have heard her yelling and screaming at me.
(The yelling and screaming were her own words. She stated, ‘Why didn’t you hear me yelling and screaming at you?) Then she began a lecture on the proper doors to enter and how that next time I was to enter the proper door when I returned an item. Her entire demeanor was rude and unflatteringly ugly. Her actions were similar to a pit bull, taking snaps and bites at people to show who's boss.
I was appalled at the attempt of this female employee to scold me as if I were a criminal or an unwanted visitor, who had no right to be where I was. She did this in front of the other customers and employees as if to show the world that she was in charge or, whatever else her ego required. However, I do not do rude well and responded back. As she would not stop her snipping and biting and rude remarks, I told her to go back to her dog house and turned away.
Her comment was, ‘Okay fine, I’m going to call the manager. I don’t have to take that.’ Really? And yet I, as the customer, am supposed to accept and take the vicious nasty attitude of Sam’s little attack dog because I failed to hear her yelling and screaming at me as I entered! What a great procedure Sams has taught its employees, that of yelling and screaming.
Next, I stood in line for approximately 10 minutes waiting for customer service to figure out how to help the one person in front of me. That always seems to be a problem at Sams. Customer service often appears confused and unable to figure out how to help their customers. It always amazes me.
More often than not, they consistently have to call a manager over to deal with what they are not or have not been taught to deal with. Finally, when it was my turn, I still ended up waiting another 10 minutes for the customer service clerk to do whatever it was that he needed to do to verify my purchase before he would simply allow me to grab another replacement shirt, same size, color, price. I had the receipt in my hand that verified the shirt was only bought within the last 30 minutes. However, the receipt alone was not acceptable.
Meanwhile, the pit bull waited impatiently for her manager to come over and pat her ruffled fur. Finally, I was allowed to go back and grab my shirt. Upon returning to the front, I now had to wait behind another customer. It was then Mr.
Manager appeared on the scene wanting to know what happened. This also was in front of other employees and customers, as if that is Sams big procedure, ‘Show everyone who is boss.’ I explained that I did not appreciate first being yelled and screamed at, and then being lectured in front of the customers and employees as if I was some type of criminal. He stated he understood but that 2 wrongs do not make a right. Excuse me?
I was flabbergasted. The wrong was the attitude and mouth of their employee and now, a lame manager who could not address his own employees rude and noxious behavior but instead, wished to defray blame on me. In a way then, he was correct. Two wrongs did not make a right.
The employee was wrong in her general obnoxious and disrespectful manner yelling and screaming, along with her intended rudeness that was directed against me personally. The manager’s inability to honestly assess the situation and deal with it accordingly was the second wrong. The Manager must have also feared Sams Pit Bull, as he vainly attempted to make me share the blame for his employee’s bad behavior. Unbelievable!
The only thing the manager probably got right was that two wrongs do NOT make a right. Neither did the employees intentional rudeness nor the managers inability to manage, make anything right. I had to state to the manager that this situation was unacceptable, and that if Sams allows its employees to act like pit bulls, to yell and scream at their customers, and then attempt to lecture and rebuke them in front of others, snipping and biting, then customers certainly had the right to tell them to Heel, and request that they return to the dog house from which they emerged. If Sams management lacks the courage or integrity to do this then it is up to the customers.
During the entire encounter, I did not scream or yell or use profanity. I simply responded to a rude and ugly employee, who would not stop harassing me or demeaning me until I firmly told her to return to her dog house. It is clearly where she belonged and it was only then that she at least shut up after stating that she was going to call the manager. A veiled threat?
Was her thought, ‘Now I‘ll show you!’ Again unbelievable! And a manager who seems to hold no control over his employees and so must find fault with the customer seems to sum up the problem with this Sams Club. If it were not for a quality Pharmacist, I would never walk in these doors again. I can just hear the morning manager talk.
‘Okay employees, today I want to affirm that when any issue arises, please feel free to yell and scream at these customers who must be forced to obey our rules!!! And when a customer does not respond to your yelling and screaming, then rebuke them soundly! And please do this in front of other customers and employees so that all may fear you. Furthermore, if any customer dare responds back while you are lecturing them, and say anything that hurts your feelings or makes you feel that you are not worthy to be worshiped, then please call a manager so that we can point out that customers bad behavior!
And finally, on a more pleasant note, please be assured that our employee shipment of rattles and pacifiers has been delivered and will be passed out during our afternoon nap time! Enjoy your day and do not let these horrible customers that parade into our store, do anything amiss!’ It absolutely amazes me that retailers still do not have a clue regarding customer service and success. They hire expensive consultants and advertisers with 6 figure salaries, spend millions on advertisements, and yet they fall short. However, the difference between success and failure is so evident, that Sams would be well to fire a few of their college educated consultants and advertisers and take up what I call the Costco Challenge.
What is the Costco Challenge? Well, first let me ask why it is that both Costco and Sams basically carry the same products at the same price and yet the Costco located just a few blocks up the street flourishes while this Sams struggles? If you think this statement is off, then let us prove it with the Costco Challenge. Disclosure: I do not work for Costco.
I am not hired by Costco or paid by Costco for any purpose. I am simply a card-carrying member of both Costco and Sams, and so, am able to share a completely honest assessment. And thus, the Costco Challenge. For one week, require each manager at Sams to pick a day, any day, and pick a time, anytime.
On the day and time selected, have the manager do a walkthrough of their store, observing customers and employees. Take notes on the approximate customer count. Then immediately drive to Costco a few blocks up. Walk through the Costco store.
What will they notice? Sams: Entering Sams always feels like you’re entering a graveyard. It is dark and somewhat gloomy. Its employees, for the most part, are unaware of the customers and care little about their needs.
(Please note: This should not be taken as negative on your employees. Employees are only a reflection of management.) Although there are exceptions, Sams employees always seem low energy and often confused by what they are doing. When it is time to check out at Sams, a customer can expect a long wait time. With few exceptions.
it doesn’t matter how many customers are present. It is almost as if Sams believes a waiting customer is a happy customer. Or, it is part of some genius plan to force customers to use self-service and thus cut down on paid help at the cashier’s stations. If customers won’t use self-service, they can wait 30 minutes to get checked out.
A GRAVEYARD ATMOSPHERE WITH GLOOMY CONFUSED EMPLOYEES, WHO DON’T WANT TO BE THERE. A WAIT TIME AND CUSTOMER RELATION PROGRAM THAT INCLUDES YELLING AND SCREAMING WHILE DEMEANING AND BELITTLING CUSTOMERS PUBLICLY. Then we have Costco. AN OPERATION OF LIFE, WITH BRIGHT CRISP EMPLOYEES, WHO ARE EAGER TO REACH OUT AND HELP THEIR CUSTOMERS, BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY CARE.
A QUICK CHECK OUT TIME AND A CUSTOMER SERVICE THAT OFFERS SMILES, UNDERSTANDING, AND HELP, BOTH PROFESSIONAL AND FRIENDLY. Walking into Costco one has a feeling of brightness and life. Things are happening here. The customer count, at a minimum, is always double Sams and often 5 to 10 times above the Sams Club down the street.
It does not matter what day or what time of day it is. The Costco on the corner of Bellevue and S. Wadsworth is always full of life and action. The employees are professional, quick, and friendly.
They look like they want to be there. Even if they do not, they look like they do. They also look like they know what they are doing. Costco Customer service is quick to help, resolve, and take care of any issue, and always with a smile.
Costco employees do not need to yell and scream at their customers to force them to follow the rules! They do not corner customers and attempt to lecture and belittle them in front of other customers and employees. They are helpful and energetic. How would the same situation as I experienced at Sams probably be handled at Costco?
An employee would have walked up to the customer with a smile and said, ‘Hi! I noticed you have a return. Here, let me put on this sticker to make the process easier for you. And you have a nice day.’ Less than 10 seconds and a quick win win for everyone.
(Even though I must state that Costco does not feel the need to use little green stickers to confirm an item is being returned. A receipt always seems to satisfy them. And so Costco does not require attack dogs or pit bulls.) The Costco Challenge, if honestly completed, would teach your managers more than all of your high paid consultants and experts. If you fail the customer on the retail level, all the other money you spend is wasted.
Fire your failed upper echelon consultants, re-train or change your management staff and inspire your employees to go beyond themselves, with both incentives and honest recognition. It is, after all, the customer that you desire to shop within your store. Your store should be designed for that customer. It should be a store of life, with kind and helpful employees, not distant yellers and screamers, many of whom do not have a clue.
Am I simply rambling on because of an incident? What I state, I have observed for quite some time. Over time, my visits to Sams have become less and less. In fact, if not for your pharmacy, I would have stopped visiting Sams a couple years ago.
Now you can take the Costco Challenge and find out. It will not matter which day or what time of day each Sams Manager chooses. Simply entering each store paints an immediate picture of what is right about Costco and wrong about Sams, and it has nothing to do with advertising or high-priced consultants. It has to do with the lighting in the store, and the light within those who work the store.
Costco will always have at least twice the shoppers, normally 5 to 10 times the shoppers of Sams, and yet half the wait time for check out and/or customer service. Costco customer service also actually does know what they are doing. Hanging a picture of the store manager on the wall that then states, ‘My goal is that you are completely satisfied,” is not an honest sign when the completeness lacks fulfillment. Sams has no viable concern for its customers.
They mistakenly believe it’s all about the discounts. Wrong. It’s more than the discounts. It’s about customer service and actually caring about your customers, employing and training employees to know what they are doing and to be a helpful solution to any problem, not a mad-hatter who believes yelling and screaming and scolding customers is an efficient way to govern any situation that arises.
To have a store that operates as a customer friendly store means a management that actually cares, employees that actually care. Care is not found in a plaque hanging on a wall but in the actions of the managers who are on call to sort out problems before they happen. At Costco, you will not miss these managers, always on the lookout for any problem or issue before it arises. They and their employees are crisp and alive.
Sams? Not so much. At Sams, they all simply drag along, digging graves and waiting for their time-clock to tell them it’s time to return home. Now, in ending please note that I do not wish a response.
I know how to respond for myself. I do not require an insincere statement of understanding. I also do not need another rebuke by those who have not a clue. Take the Costco Challenge and you will quickly see that every statement I have made is correct.
Do not take the challenge and your store will forever be nothing more than a graveyard located at 4827 South Wadsworth, always wanting and never fulfilled. P.S. By the way, this consultation is a free gift from EEL Marketing, in order to help you set aside the tombstone, return your pit bulls to their dog houses, and walk once more with the living. Will you respond?
Unlikely. And so, Costco will always run circles around you.
Respectfully, Mr. Monroe
Product or Service Mentioned: Sams Club Manager.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.