AlwaysWoW! For a Great Great WoW in Life

Thoughts from me about things that are cool, that are WoW, that blow me away. Observations about businesses and people from a wide variety of life. Daily encounters - and thoughts outside the box, inside the box and without any box. New thinking, and challenging old thinking. Passionate about life, about respect, and about integrity.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Experience in Bodyshop in Megamall, Kuala Lumpur

My wife, I, and my son visited Bodyshop in Megamall on February 24, 2004.

I like Bodyshop because of the values they do display and project, such as the “no testing of animals for their products”, and the proclaimed “support of small communities around the world”. According to their webpage, they also value their customers. They write: “We know that you're unique, and we'll always treat you like an individual. We like you just the way you are.”

What might be forgotten is that employees in their shops should be empowered to create a great customer experience, increase customer satisfaction and delight their visitors – on the spot and when required!

The case is as follows: Since my wife has bought quite a number of products in Bodyshop, she received a voucher worth RM35 (Ringgit Malaysia – 1 US$ is RM3.80).

The problem was that she wanted to buy soap for my child worth RM3.50. My kid was thrilled by its shape, form and smell, but my wife was told that this purchase would forfeit the rest of her voucher. She wouldn’t be able to receive a new voucher with the reduced sum. In other words, get products that cost at least RM38, or loose the difference. It is not possible to buy something for a small value and get the rest back in a reduced voucher!

I inquired with the salesgirl, if it wouldn’t be possible to be a bit more flexible around the rule, since we wouldn’t like to buy that many products, but just a soap – and that this wouldn’t increase customer satisfaction. She responded that those were the regulations, and she wouldn’t be able to change it.

Okay, admittedly – she was the wrong person to talk to in the first place – I should have asked for the manager. But she could have asked the manager to come and talk.

Okay, I could have bought the soap as well – it wasn’t much, but it also was the principle! Worse of all was her behaviour. She complained to her colleague about the incidence, when we left the shop – at least that is how it looked like!

I believe that this is not the right way to treat a customer. Remember that it takes a long time to create a new and happy customer. It is expensive – surely more expensive than some cheaper products. What is needed? A bit more flexibility, and a stronger empowerment of employees to react on the spot to requests, or inquiries of customers would go a VERY long way!

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