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.
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.
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.
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?