Saturday, January 07, 2006

"That was hard"

I hate to pick on Staples again (see previous post, "Staples Stumbles"), but I had an experience yesterday that suggests they are seriously out of touch with their market.

My laptop computer has had a minor malfunction since I got it from Staples Business Depot six months ago. Yesterday, having a rare hour of free time and not foreseeing a need for the laptop for a week or two, I decided to take it back to the store to get it looked at.

Silly me. It was Saturday. Their tech guy isn’t in the store on Saturday. (Too bad they didn’t tell the first customer service rep I talked to, since she tried twice to page a tech person for me before I was told there wasn’t one on site. “But it’s the busiest day for retail,” I argued. I got a shrug. “A store that sells so much technology only has one tech guy?” I asked. Another shrug.

Well, when is he on site? Monday through Friday, from store open till, oh, about 5. “Don’t they know that’s exactly when your customer base is busy working?” I asked. Shrug again.

So if you need tech support from Staples (open seven days a week, and till 9 pm on evenings), entrepreneurs be warned: you’ll have to take time away from your customers, employees and prospects. Smart, huh?

It wouldn’t be so bad if Staples weren’t pushing the slogan, “That was easy.” Their perverse tech support policy doesn’t make anything easy. Next time they ask for my business – shrug.

TODAY’S TIP: Be available to your customers when it's convenient for them.
You wouldn’t think we’d have to say it, would you?

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