Yesterday was my first visit to a Home Depot since the end of September when I moved (and coincidentally, when the economy fell off the cliff). The chain had a deserved rep for bad-to-nonexistent customer service then. To my surprise yesterday, on entering the store (and looking overhead for the signs that would point me in the right direction), I was greeted by a cheerful HD aproned woman who asked if she could help me find something. Yes, I said, I was looking for those little spiky things that keep birds from roosting. Within seconds, a second employee was searching for the guy who would know the answer. A minute later, three employees and I were conferring. They didn’t sell that product but they spent time brainstorming options (like a fake owl such as farmers use).
Wow! What a difference a bad economy seems to have made at Home Depot. It’s a shame that’s what it took. But we can all learn a lesson, if we haven’t already. If business is slow, it’s time to put a smile on our faces and spend some extra time helping customers. If we don’t offer what they’re looking for, maybe we can still offer insights that will help solve their problem. They might even come back to us more often if they have a positive customer experience. What a concept!