Reader Jerry has shopped at the Home Depot in Van Nuys for over six years, but this weekend was the first time he feels he’s ever received good service. There was a helpful greeter at the door with a map of the store, and it seemed like everywhere he turned there was an employee willing to help. “It took a few minutes, but it finally dawned on me. Home Depot was trying to provide customer service!” Is this just a fluke or a part of a renewed effort to earn your business during the recession?
My family and I dropped by our local Home Depot in Van Nuys, CA this weekend. I was very surprised by my experience. There was a Home Depot employee by the entrance that greeted us with a clipboard in hand. He was nice enough, and offered us help. Of course, I was on auto-pilot by that time and returned a smile and “No-thanks”, assuming that he was going to try to sell my vinyl home siding, or some other service I didn’t want. It wasn’t until we passed him that I noticed that the papers on his clipboard were maps to the store. A few rows down was another employee who greeted us and asked if we needed any help. Still reeling from the first friendly encounter, I smiled and said” No thanks.”
It took a few minutes, but it finally dawned on me. Home Depot was trying to provide customer service! When we couldn’t locate a small toolbox, we asked random a HD employee who was friendly enough where to find small toolboxes. He wasn’t sure and directed us to the tool corral. Within 10 seconds of entering the corral, another employee offered us help. He finally directed us to the front of the store where all of the toolboxes were located.
Four helpful, friendly employees within as many minutes. I noticed this going on all around me, with employees being friendly and helping other customers. By the time we left, it was obvious that there was a whole “push” for friendly, helpful customer service in Home Depot. Let me say that it was great. I appreciate it when someone tries to help me without being over-bearing. And if they can’t help me, they direct me to a person who can. Kudos to Home Depot for this move.
I’ve been going to this store for 6 years to get materials for my weekend warrior work, and I’ve never had such service. It’s unfortunate, however, that we have to have a crumbling economic situation to spur a “big box” store into good customer service. I realized what was going on. Business is bad, let’s help the customer and be friendly. If I didn’t like it so much, I would’ve been offended at the obvious pandering. So, applause to Home Depot. Don’t forget to continue this when the economy improves.