The weather is milder than usual in Canada for this time of year and we have decided to get ready for the biking season a littler earlier as well. My wife and I have spent the past few weekends discussing what type of equipment we will need for our 18 month old to enjoy biking as much as our 4 year old. With questions in mind, we headed over to large retail chain on a Saturday afternoon and headed right for the bike section. We paroused the isles looking at equipment but also looking for a salesperson to help. We found an infant carrier for our bike but we had not found anyone to help us with our questions. I decided we would split up and see who could find help quicker – my wife would stay where she was and I would go to another department in search of help. I found a salesperson in another department who was kind of enough to explain there was only one person working in sporting goods and he kindly walked me back to the section and got the attention of the sporting goods guy who acknowledged me and said he would be a few minutes.
It turns out, I was not the only person waiting for his help – there was also a grandmother and her grandson. I decided that the 15 minutes it had taken so far was far too long and decided to go with my gut and purchase the item I had found and return it if it didn’t meet my requirements.
There is a valuable lesson here for this store (which I will share with them) and for shops and businesses in general. As a customer I really don’t care about what the staffing issues are , inventory issues or any other issue – I just care about getting the product I came in for or possibly an equivalent. If your staff are not trained to provide assistance across all aspects of your business then what good are they putting up pricing labels in their department when a customer needs help in another? In this situation, the gentlemen who walked me over from the other department would have been able to help his co-worker out by trying to facilitate my questions. In the end, this lack of help has led me to believe this is not a store I want to return to in the future.