Retail shopping


This article fist appeared on LinkedIn Pulse.

I have had experiences on both end of the spectrum over the last week when it comes to customer service. The one experience will make me want to shop at a particular store more and the other will make me research warranty information and look at other brands before purchasing electronics.

Let’s get right into the negative experience. About two and a half weeks ago, my Kenwood car stereo stopped booting up normally. After exhausting the general troubleshooting items, their support rep encouraged me to send my unit to a repair center for a diagnostic check and repair.

Even though I was responsible for having the radio removed from my vehicle one had to pay to ship the unit to the repair facility, I agreed to ship the radio since I was informed that the repair should only take a few days.

Then things started to get interesting. First, I did not receive the email with the instructions to ship the radio, even after I called back and the rep tried again. I wrote down the information as the rep communicated it to me. I was able to get it out in that day’s mail pick up.

I was surprised that I did not receive any kind of notification from Kenwood that my radio was received or any information about the status of the repair, even after a week. I decided to call the repair facility and they said that is was on the work bench and would be looked at soon.

My next call a few days later took a turn for the worst. I was told that they needed to order a part and that they needed to obtain approval from Kenwood. When I contacted Kenwood, I was informed that an approval was not necessary and that they never received the request. They said that they would follow up with me in two days.

I waited, then waited some more. I decided to call the repair facility and they informed me that they obtained the necessary approval, but that the part was on back order. They could not provide me with an estimate of when they would get the part.

In Kenwood’s defense, they did call me back and said that they would contact the repair center to expedite the repair, but I am still waiting for a return call.

I have been without a radio in my car for two and a half weeks, going on three. Not that I am angry with the amount of time that I have been without the radio, but with the lack of communication and not knowing when I will have my radio repaired and shipped back to me.

The next time I am shopping for electronics, I am going to take a long hard look at the warranty information as well as the company reviews. I hope to receive my stereo soon.

On the lighter side, I had a great customer service experience at Kohl’s. I was shopping for new jeans since I dropped down two pant sizes in the last two months. I stopped into one of their locations and picked out a couple pairs of jeans. I had a $10 off $50 coupon. Since the jeans were $24.99 each, I fell short of the required $50. I was hoping to find an item for around a dollar to help complete the purchase since they could not apply the discount with the current total. I could not find anything, so I decided not to buy the jeans and left.

Since I was going across town anyway, I used my phone try and purchase similar jeans with a 30% off coupon that I found and was going to take advantage of the in store pick up. This was going to be at another store that I was going to be near later. The issue was that I could not complete the purchase because I needed to use my Kohl’s card and even though it was tied to my account in the app, I had trouble checking out.

I decided to go to the store and maybe just buy something additional and use the $10 coupon since the 30% was for online purchases only. For some reason, I decided to explain my experiences to the cashier and she in turn spoke with the manager and they decided to honor the 30% discount. I was very grateful thanked the cashier and the manager.

These are two customer service experiences that will leave different impressions in my mind. Most importantly, it will shape how I interact with these brands again in the future. What are you doing to ensure that you are meeting your customers’ every needs?


  • Hank Hoffmeier

    Hank is an author, speaker, podcast host and Sr. Manager of Marketing Operations at Kickbox, a Ziff Davis company. With a passion for all things digital and social, combined with more than 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, he has been dubbed the Digital Marketing Infotainer because he makes marketing fun and successful.