One of the reasons businesses are suffering in Spain

Four days ago i went out shopping for a persiana, For those of you that dont know, Thats a pull down shutter blind that you see here on the outside of most windows.

Now i just wanted 2 persianas for a project on my house build and needed a quote. I reckoned about 200 euros for each but wanted a quote. Possibly i will buy many more later.

Being in the building trade here for 18 years i knew just where to go and went to 3 of my old suppliers that i have used in the past. These were 3 large industrial suppliers that specialize in windows and persianas.

1st stop.

Went in and waited about 5 mins before one of the workers stopped what he was doing and came and asked me what i wanted.

Response, was the boss is not here so cant give you a quote. not interested in taking my details or what i needed and just said try the place up road. A completely different business.

2nd stop.

In the same street another persiana shop that only makes persianas. Again waited in the shop entrance for a while before anyone came and asked what i wanted. Finally said go to the office upstairs so i did.

The secretary took my details and measurements of what i needed and said the boss would call later that day with a price.

3 days later i am still waiting. I guess they dont want my money.

3rd stop.

Another window suppliers and this was a place that i have spent several thousand over the years and they know me well.

I spoke to a guy that works there and told him what i wanted and he said that he cant give me a price only the boss can do that. He was out and had no idea when he would be back. come back later he said. I suggested i could give him the details of what i wanted and the boss could call me later. No best come back later or manana was his response.

It seems like companies here are not set up to accommodate new customers or even look after old ones that spend lots of money with them. A very disheartening long morning wasted.

In the last 2 years i have been building my own house here and its a big project and this is not the first time i have had days like this here trying to spend my money.

When i was in business here and in the UK i always thought the most important thing was to get and look after new customers but it seems like many others dont see it that way.

There are some great places that have amazing customer service here like Leroy merlin who i have used for years and in many different areas and always very helpful and very efficient. I have seen first hand how they train their staff and how much they value good customer service. These smaller businesses here are complaining that they are not as busy now due to many reasons like covid the lockdowns and Brexit but many of them have very poor customer service and dont seem interested in accommodating new customers.

Many years ago when i was young i worked in a diy shop in the uk and the boss was always telling us to find out the customers name and always be very polite and helpful no matter how much they spent. We were told to say hi to people standing in line waiting to pay and that we would be with them very soon. I think just acknowledging people is the key and just saying hi to them and they will wait for ever but when you dont seem interested or ignore them it shows you dont really care.

Many of these employees seem to just do the minimum they have to to get paid at the end of the week. The places i visited this week just didnt seem to want my business. There employees didnt care about new customers and they could learn a lot from places like Leroy merlin who do teach their staff to value the customer.

When i was working as self employed here i always called the customer if i was running a little late just to let them know and always would be on time. Are these practices still in use now? it doesn’t look like it. or was it just me.

There is a reason why some businesses do very well here and why some struggle. maybe this is one of those reasons. What says you?

Living and working in Spain Podcast show

One comment

  1. Totally agree with you! we had the same problem in the Uk recently. I’ve lived in Spain 18 years and had to go back to visit my mum 6 weeks ago who wasn’t well and so stayed for 6 weeks. I do all her finances online and needed a new laptop as the old one was getting tired so we went into PC World spoke to a nice assistant then decided to look around but by the time we decided what we wanted he was serving someone else so we waited but it was quite apparent they were going to be a long time so we went and found three other assistants talking they said someone would attend to us but we waited 30 minutes and they were still talking we asked at the till and we’re told someone would attend to us 30 minutes later we’re still waiting so we left and went elsewhere but unfortunately still had to buy in PC World as they were the nearest computer shop. I’m surprised that in this time where a lot of businesses are closing the ones still going don’t show more respect to their loyal customers as I’ve always used PC World but will definitely be looking around for other places to shop. Only reason I bought it was because I needed it rather quickly before returning to Spain.

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