Is there really Customer Service in the Warehouse Stores?

As a culture, I think that we like to complain about lack of service.  We lament about how horrible service was, Comedians joke about it and stores lambast their competitors’ lack of service to promote their own “small store” brand.  Here in California, Orchard Supply Hardware (OSH) has a very amusing and to the point series of radio ads.

Roughly paraphrased, the ads go something like this.  a voice states, “Day 37.  I have been in this store forever.  I found others who have been here for a long time as well.  We teamed up and made a trap, it caught a store employee.  He said that he just worked here, so we let him go.  We finally found the aisle with the electric cords, unfortunately none of us can remember why we needed one.”

They tout their small store mentality and staff expertise as a contrast to what is found at Home Depots and Lowe’s.  I tend to agree with them and when I want discount pricing, I go to Home Depot or Lowe’s, however, when I want help, I usually go to OSH.

This past weekend, I needed to go to one of these three stores to get pricing for a 70 foot long section of fence I have to rebuild. I knew that I needed better pricing, so I went to Home Depot.  While I was there, I was also going to pick up some picture hanging wire and a few other items that I knew I could find (work gloves, for example).  To my surprise, as I walked down the aisles, there was a small army of Home Depot employees ready to help and each time that I had a question, they were ready to help and knew the answers. 

From questions on the pricing of cedar fence boards to where to find picture hanging wire, there was someone in a Home Depot vest ready to help.  When it was time to check out, not one, but three employees were at the self checkout aisles helping and assisting.

I am not sure if it is just my local Home Depot or if this movement has spread across the country, but they definitely stood my expectations on its head.  They were knowledgeable, friendly and quick.  So, yes, you can get great Customer Service in a Big Box Store. Way to go, Home Depot!

Any thoughts on Big Box / Warehouse Stores and their Customer Service?

Thanks for reading,

Brandon

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