I have been stewing over this for a while. I just seem to keep running into really bad customer service.
It started at Harvey Norman a couple of weeks before Christmas. I went in to buy an iPod for my wife. I knew what I wanted, had the money and just needed someone to get one for me. I stood at the counter for 10 minutes, while the one person on duty at the counter talked to a guy who clearly wasn't going to buy anything. I got sick of that and went over to a bunch of employees who were standing around talking.
"Not our area", was the reply. So I left and bought one from Dick Smith.
I (foolishly) went back to Harvey Norman to purchase a laptop. To call the guy I talked to incompetent was a slight on people who are actually incompetent. This guy if he works at it, could aspire to be called incompetent. Anyway, I ordered the laptop (Macbook Pro) which was over $4000 worth of kit. 3 weeks have passed and I am still waiting. "I don't know when it will arrive", is the response I get whenever I try and find out about shipment date.
No one ever tries to call the Apple supplier (Renaissance I believe) and find out when it was shipped or an expected arrival date. They have my money now, I am of no use to them obviously. I mean how long would it take to at least look like you're doing something? The 5 minutes it would take to find out is obviously eating into their staring at the wall time, or more likely scratching their arse time.
That's ok. It will arrive eventually. Will I spend another cent in Harvey Norman? Not on your life. Even if the same item is more expensive somewhere else, I will never buy another item from Harvey Norman. Ever. People ask me all the time, "Where is a good place to buy X?". I can guarantee I won't be recommending Harvey fecking Norman to anyone. So five minutes making a phone call has potentially cost them a lot of money.
I was out of town this week sorting out a few loose ends for a client. I was walking to their office and went past a Starbucks. Thought I would try them out. It was about 7:30am and there were two staff, and one guy at the counter who was obviously a friend of the serving girl. I stood in line while they talked for about 5 minutes, said excuse me a couple of times, stomped my feet and walked out. So stuff you Starbucks, I am never going to step foot in your establishments ever again either.
It doesn't take much to offer good customer service. It doesn't cost much either. The cost of not giving good customer service can never be quantified of course, but I would imagine that one bad staff member could be costing a lot more than the minimum wage the employers are paying....