Why Wal-Mart Fails At Customer Service & Everything Else

I never quite understood why my mother had such hatred for this company. It may have stemmed from her years at working here. Maybe it is the look of the store or maybe it is the people who work there. With all those scenarios, you have to wonder why my mother hates Wal-Mart so much. It could possibly be all those reasons listed above and other reasons I have yet and probably will not mentioned. Whatever the reason is for her utter hate for Sam Walton’s empire, I am beginning to see the light and know why (at least my reason) this place is pure garbage and cares not for their people or their customers but only for the money that drops into their pockets. It’s a business. It a horrible business and if you shop there or work there, I am sorry. For what it is worth, I’ve shopped there. Hopefully I can keep the word shop in the past tense and vow to you and myself to stay away from Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart fails at customer service and everything else. Let me rant for a while.

Wal-Mart is a staple in American culture. It started in 1962 and is one of the biggest grocer retailers in America. It is everywhere. It may not be on every corner like Starbucks but it is constantly sprouting up like weeds. It is greedy, shooting down the little guy, and rather care more about profit than taking care of the customers. It is even harder to imagine that they also care little about their employees needs. So many things are wrong with the place but I rather just tell you why I am finding this place to be the little black rain cloud on customer service. Let me tell you why I feel the way I feel. This is a short story about a recent trip I made to Wal-Mart. This will give you a little inside view on why I am taking a stand against this shitty company.

It was time for me to redecorate my bathroom. The shower curtain was nearing three years old and I just felt like I needed a change. That really serves no purpose to this story but I like to ramble on about things and at least this sets up the story as to why I went there. I grab my items. I am in and out of there pretty quickly. I don’t dilly dally around. I know what I need and know what I want. I walk to the registers. The lines are pretty long and the customers there look just as pissed off as the employees do. I head down the line. I am met by Joann. Is it wrong for me to use her name? Maybe it is but I am needing to make a point and if the point is to tarnish the good name Wal-Mart once had with its great customer service and friendly atmosphere, then yes, I will use Joann as an example to prove my point about the poor ass service I and other receive on a daily basis. I pay for my items. Joann scans the items. I have my card in my hand and I am ready to pay. I want out of there. Joann hits total and tells me, “47.50.” I don’t get any other verbal conversation from her. She doesn’t greet me. She doesn’t ask me how my day is or any other friendly banter people in the retail world are told to uphold. I didn’t even get a “thank you” or a “have a nice day”. So much for having a big yellow smiley as your logo. Not many smiles in that store. Just a bunch of upset people.

Why was Joann so pissed off? A simple “thank you” would have been nice but she was only worried about getting my money and getting me out of there. To her, this is only a paycheck to her and us, the loyal customers to their establishment, are nothing but obstacles from getting the hell out of there and hoping to spend the rest of their day relaxing at home on the couch. If they keep us this terrible service, we’ll be going elsewhere. Maybe Joann and the rest of the Wal-Mart family should take Sam’s advice about the customer being the boss.

Maybe they should take his advice.

Maybe she was having a bad day. Maybe she was new at the job and is still a bit nervous about how to greet a customer. Whatever the case is, it doesn’t matter. You have one job, Joann. It is to take care of the customer and make us feel important. I am not a big fan of small talk and I really don’t care to chat with you about the weather, my day, or anything else. I want in and I want out. What I do want is common courtesy. We want to feel like we are welcome inside the store and not just a pest that you are making haste to get rid of. If this is the image Wal-Mart wants to uphold, your loyal fan base is going to die out.

Joann isn’t the only time I felt like a number rather than a person. Many times I have gone in there and the cashier and or, other associates have made me feel like I don’t matter to them. They rush me out and hurry to the next person in line. I am not greeted and when I am looking lost, which I normally am inside their stores, I am never stopped and asked if I need help locating something. I’ve been stopped before by random customers asking me to help because I am mistaken for an employee. I kindly apologize and walk away but still in an earshot of hearing them gripe and moan about waiting “forever” for an employee to help them.

It’s almost as if you and I are a burden on them, like we are stopping them from doing their job. I guess me as a customers doesn’t fall into such a category. I work in retail and I do my best to make customer service my priority. I want to make sure you are happy when you leave and make you feel like you matter and that you’re just not a number on a sheet of paper come the end of our fiscal year.

My mother cringes each time I have spoken about shopping at Wal-Mart. I remember when she worked there and when they mention how they care about their employees and work around their schedules, she would rant about how they took a giant dump on that and cared more about staffing the store than actually letting a family spend quality time together. Was it just her store or is it nation wide? Do all stores do this and basically steal the life from their employees? If this is true then this could be the reason why Joann and many like her have a sour look on their face and hate each day they clock in. Take care of your employees. Treat them with respect and give them a reason to be there and they’ll show it. If you keep dragging them through the mud, that filth will show and many others will soon see what I see – that Wal-Mart is a terrible company that cares not about their customers and just about the dollar signs at the end of the day.

I am going to make it my mission to stay away from Wal-Mart. I don’t care if it is just a minute from my house. I will drive the extra 5 miles to Target. Maybe Target is a priced higher but the store is cleaner, brighter, and the people there look as if they care. I wish I can speak highly of Wal-Mart and tell you a positive story about past shopping experiences I have had but none come to mind. It’s not that I forgot about them. It is because I have never had one. Never once have I left Wal-Mart thinking, “Wow! This place is awesome! I’m glad I shopped here today!” Wal-Mart just feels like a desolate wasteland. There is no joy in Mudville and there is no joy in Wal-Mart. If you want cheap product and poor customer service, shop at Wal-Mart. If you want to feel like you are wanted and walk out smiling, shop elsewhere. It doesn’t matter where. Anywhere is better than the Wal-Mart for short.

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