Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rising 2014 Customer Service Store: Harris Teeter

Okay, I'm going to show you a couple of pictures here. Harris Teeter Lincolnia had Dasani water on sale, 24 pack for $4.99 or about half off, but:

That's right, there was no Dasani water. And, last night, they had their store-branded organic plain yogurt on sale, two for $6, but again:

Yep, no yogurt.

So, today, in the store, I was like, "Okay, joke's over." Was this a new store policy? "Oh, we have stuff on sale, geophf, but you can't buy it! HA!"

So I went up to the cashier, a nice lady, and explained my frustration, and she said, "Ooh, go to customer service, they'll either get it for you if we have it in stock in back or they'll give you a rain check if we don't."

I did not know that. I walked away from that conversation a whole lot less frustrated.

So, I did go to customer service, and the young man there looked in the aisles and confirmed that, yes, they were not in stock. "I'll write you rain checks for them."

"Okay," I said.

But the manager, Kelly, walked up during all this, and it wasn't okay for her.  She said, "Ooh, the Dasani doesn't come until Thursday, do you want Deer Park or Aquafina?"

No, I don't. I don't like their waters. I like Dasani.

I'm picky, you see.

But she was fine with that, too. "How about these six packs instead, you could get four of those."

The problem with that was the the six packs were $4.99 each! Which would be four times as much as the sale.

But Kelly said, "No, I'll substitute them for the sale. Just tell the cashier that Kelly said this is the substitute for the 24-pack sale and all four packs come to a total of $4.99."

Okay, four packs for the price of one? I was absolutely thrilled with that.

But, in for a penny, in for a pound, yes? The Aladdin effect and all that.

Don't worry, y'all: geophf reads management-speak books, just hang in there for my happy ending.

I said, "What about the yogurt?"

Kelly said, "Well, we don't get that until Thursday, too, but would you be willing to take Dannon?"

Dannon? Ick. I said, "Um, no, I was talking about your organic plain yogurt, would you substitute Stoney Field?" I asked this hopefully.

Guess what Kelly said? "Oh, the organic yogurt? Sure, we can do that."

So, guess what? I got the Stoney Field plain organic yogurt, at $4 per quart originally at the sale price of the store-branded organic yogurt, and even got a discount off that for my time and trouble: two quart containers for all of $4.

Was I happy about this? You bet. Actually: I like the Harris Teeter store brand of their organic yogurt more than most other organic yogurts out there, it's really well blended and less OhMyGoshThisYogurtIsTooSWEET! that other organic yogurts suffer from. My preference was Harris Teeter organic yogurt, but my pleasure was getting (very good) organic yogurt when the supply just wasn't there.

And I have been without #skyr for too, too many days already.


I told Kelly I tweeted my troubles last night and @HarrisTeeter often responds to my tweets.

"Yes," she said, "Harris Teeter is very customer-focused."

I have to agree. I'll go further: I have never received such good customer-focused service from a store, unless I have (and I have) stood in the middle of the noosphere and screamed my head off about customer neglect from other vendors, treating me with contempt, rather than with respect.

But that was another set of entries, not this one. This entry is about the respect I received from Harris Teeter today. This one, I told Kelly, "I'm going to mention you by name: you help has been simply incredible."

She was shy about that, saying: "Oh, you don't have to do that!"

But I did. The manager, Kelly (I know her last name, I'm just internet-protecting it, you know), at the Lincolnia Harris Teeter took initiative, and didn't just settle for Harris Teeter (good) policy of giving a rain check on a sale, she made sure her customer left her store not only happy, but amazed, and not only amazed, but simply floored at the way she, and, by extension: Harris Teeter, treat their customers: with respect, seeing they got what they came for, and were happy about it.

Kelly: thank you. Harris Teeter, thank you.

My nomination for rising 2014 Customer Service Store? Harris Teeter. They turned a doubly-frustrating experience, two days in a row, into one where I left the store an amazed evangelist.

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