Monday, June 2, 2008

WalMart Customer Service

Tonight I decided to stop by WalMart on my way to work. It's not my favorite place to shop, but there aren't a lot of places to get batteries at 11:30PM without paying $7.50 per 4-pack at the gas stations.
When I pulled in, there was a guy on crutches making his way slowly to the grocery side doors, no doubt looking forward to one of their little electric scooters to do his shopping from.
For those not familiar with WalMart's late night policies, in order to keep things from being too convenient for the customers, they lock the general merchandise side sometime after 9PM and everybody has to go through the grocery side. The two door sets have two automatic doors each, and are roughly half the width of the supercenter-size store apart, so if you're getting 50lbs of kitty litter and not planning to use a cart, you need to know which set will be open.
The guy got to the door, hesitated, and started to head back to his car. I still didn't think too much about it other than something along the lines of how much it must have sucked to go to all that effort only to realize that he has to go back to the car for something.
By this time, I was about halfway to the door. There was a roughly 2ft square piece of cardboard cut from a large box against the wall between the two sets of automatic doors, but nothing that looked out of the ordinary until I got within about 10ft of the door.
There was writing on that cardboard, in ball point pen, no less. "PLEASE USE OTHER DOORS," with an arrow pointing toward the general merchandise side.
Now, that's a pretty common message, and I'd bet there are plenty of companies out there that make nice big signs in sharply contrasting 3-inch or larger letters with that message on them that the guy could have read from the handicap parking space, but in ballpoint pen on brown cardboard, it was hard to read from just a few feet away, and didn't even look like a sign from the parking lot. Even a piece of white posterboard and a large black marker would have been readable from the parking spaces, but I guess WalMart doesn't know where to get such things.
It's not too bad of a walk for me to go to the other doors, and not too far to walk back to the car with the single bag I came out with, but for the guy on crutches, that would have been another 5-10 minutes of what certainly appeared to be painful hobbling. Is it too much to ask a company that spends millions on advertising signs throughout every store, to simply have one large black-on-yellow "PLEASE USE OTHER DOORS" sign made for each store?

1 comment:

katty said...

Customer service is going to be the biggest thing happening to the business world. We should never underestimate the power of customer service! Anyways, thanks for the post.
Small Business Answering service