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Customer Service - Who is the Best?


Eric - TIA

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I put a post up on Instagram today about customer service at my local Home Depot.  I went in there about 7 am in the morning.  Pretty empty except for contractors trying to get stuff for the day.  Without getting into it, I had a good experience.  So being old and grumpy, I am usually used to having crappy customer service wherever I go or even if I have to call a company on the phone.  Just got me thinking how customer service has vanished over the years, well maybe I am just an old grump now.  

 

Anyways what stores do you visit or call on the phone that actually has good customer service?

 

I have tried to think about other stores but can't name any.  Heck even if I go to the grocery store the clerk never says hello or have a good day.

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Local places know me by my first name and are generally a pleasure to deal with. There is just too high of a turnover rate at big box stores to get any kind of service with some exceptions of course, but it will vary between store to store. You get sometimes cheaper prices but at the trade off of having poorer service. At big box stores I can get completely different service just from one day to another.

 

Gotta say though that KCTool knows how to do things right.

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Customer service can be both good and bad at the locations of businesses, simply depending on who is working the current shift. Many times at the box stores, the available manager is the determining factor. The closest Home Depot to me (30 minutes away) can be a hit or miss depending on the staff. One of their managers is a real dick, and it is like pestering your parents when you were a kid and always getting the answer NO, just because. But there is another manager at that same store that will just bend over backwards, and go the extra mile to make sure you are happy before you leave the store.

 

Some companies seem to have strict guidelines, and others seem like they could give a rats arse, once they get your money.

 

Have to agree that KC is on top of their game with customer satisfaction.

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I live in a small town. I find people are more welcoming in small town. The same is true with local lumberyard and the hardware store. They have excellent service. As an example the other day I went to go buy a piece of plywood and they had just closed the register but said come back tomorrow to pay for it. I would not expect the same thing to happen in a large city. The nearest city of size has good service but not excellent. Generally in my area people are more friendly and willing to help than a large metro area. There are always exceptions though.

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I commented on the Instagram post already but my local Home Depot's (two of them within 5 miles of each other) both suck as far as customer service. If you stop to actually read a product or compare two the employees look at you like you're stealing. Getting something from the overhead is a nightmare because the employees don't want to do it and when they finally do they don't know how to drive the lift or don't pay attention to where you pointed to show them what product you want. That being said the tool reps have been great at the larger of the two stores (I avoid the smaller one due to less product and being poorly lit).

Lowes is a little better because there don't have the overhead area to worry about but they still don't offer help for the most part. They don't pay attention to where the products on an in-store pickup order are located so half the time they haven't pulled your order when you come in the next day or they say they don't have it and want to cancel the order. When @jtkendall bought his Centipede's a few months ago they tried to tell him they don't have them in stock and would have to order them. We found all 6 still laying in the bay that was listed on their website. It's to the point that the only thing I buy in Lowes besides that I can buy online is Southwire Tools because I know where they are, exactly what I'm looking for, and don't need any assistance. Only other things I buy are large items I can't buy online like lumber, plywood, etc.

Honestly the best customer service I have had is Acme Tools. I made a ~$500 purchase from them in October and my bank decided that it was a fraudulent purchase because they are in a different state and declined it. After I dealt with the bank I called Acme and they were great at processing it again. A few weeks ago when I ordered my Hole Hawg I had added the keyed chuck model to my cart instead of the Quik-Lok model and didn't catch it until I had submitted the order. They were closed for the day so I sent them an email about it and posted about it on Instagram. They commented on my Instagram post the next morning when they saw it that they were taking care of it for me and that it would go out that day.

Locally the best customer service I have had is the local Petco. They're always great about helping and really love my dog. The other is my local lumber store. The first time Josh and I went there they gave us a tour of the shop. Every time we've been back it's been great.

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On 18/11/2017 at 3:28 AM, Jronman said:

I live in a small town. I find people are more welcoming in small town. The same is true with local lumberyard and the hardware store. They have excellent service. As an example the other day I went to go buy a piece of plywood and they had just closed the register but said come back tomorrow to pay for it. I would not expect the same thing to happen in a large city. The nearest city of size has good service but not excellent. Generally in my area people are more friendly and willing to help than a large metro area. There are always exceptions though.

 

That's definitely true. 

 

Much friendlier where I live (3000 people) VS the city. The staff at the local hardware store know your name. Great service everywhere in town. 

 

The nearest large town is 48,000 people. Also a very friendly place. 

 

Sydney on the other hand, just rude people everywhere. 

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Out of the 3 local big box stores (Menards, Lowes, HD) Home Depot is the most helpful, followed by Menards and then Lowes but the employees at all three know nothing about what they are selling and don't exactly jump at the chance to help out. The best by a large margin are the local Ace Hardware stores, everyone of them have great employees that are very helpful and if you ask a question and they dont know the answer they find someone that can help. Another good one is Stan Houston Equipment, they cater mostly to the general contractors but have a Woodworking department with a couple old woodworkers working the counter. Any question you can think of they have a story, only downside is eveything is pretty much MSRP unless a manufacturer is having a sale.

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On 11/17/2017 at 10:28 AM, Jronman said:

I live in a small town. I find people are more welcoming in small town. The same is true with local lumberyard and the hardware store. They have excellent service. As an example the other day I went to go buy a piece of plywood and they had just closed the register but said come back tomorrow to pay for it. I would not expect the same thing to happen in a large city. The nearest city of size has good service but not excellent. Generally in my area people are more friendly and willing to help than a large metro area. There are always exceptions though.

That's awesome.  I love small towns and wish I could move to one.

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8 minutes ago, TheRLB said:

Out of the 3 local big box stores (Menards, Lowes, HD) Home Depot is the most helpful, followed by Menards and then Lowes but the employees at all three know nothing about what they are selling and don't exactly jump at the chance to help out. The best by a large margin are the local Ace Hardware stores, everyone of them have great employees that are very helpful and if you ask a question and they dont know the answer they find someone that can help. Another good one is Stan Houston Equipment, they cater mostly to the general contractors but have a Woodworking department with a couple old woodworkers working the counter. Any question you can think of they have a story, only downside is eveything is pretty much MSRP unless a manufacturer is having a sale.

Good point about Ace.  We have an Ace by us and they pretty much know everything.  We have some very old houses in our town and they are pretty familiar with issues about boiler system, plaster repairs and more.  They have seen a ton over the years

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1 hour ago, DR99 said:

We have an Ace hardware by us it used to be a regional hardware store brand called ACO Hardware. It's nice but their prices and selection can be lacking at times.

 

The prices are not competitive with the big boys thats for sure (especially on power tools) but all of the Ace stores I believe are locally owned so that makes it harder to compete with the bulk the big boys pump out. Sometimes they can have some good deals on the smaller stuff if you are a rewards member. The closest one to me locally also has a small engine shop that is so busy they are always booked out at least a month. Sure I end up spending a little more but I'll trade that for the service and supporting a local instead of one of the other big stores.

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