Customer Service Equality: In-store must equal online customer service

Posted on November 13, 2013 by


With the biggest shopping day of the year looming, there’s been a lot of discussions about what will happen as people transition away from brick and mortar shopping and move to online purchasing.  For many businesses though, the brick and mortar storefront will never “go away.”  The best example of that type of business is restaurants, although it would be great to have food delivered through my computer screen, I still have to go out and get it.  Most of the time that is a pleasant experience…but unfortunately for one Veteran his experience was anything but pleasant and it really speaks to the gap between online customer service and in-store customer service.

On Veterans Day, he went to a McDonald’s location that was offering a free meal for those with military ID or proof of military service.  Seems simple enough, but the person managing the location at the time couldn’t seem to comprehend the signage in her location that said, “military ID OR proof of service.”  After working to get her to comprehend, this Veteran was denied the offer.  You can see the video here. Although, I suspect that McDonald’s personnel are likely not briefed on all acceptable forms of proof, I do think that erring on the side of caution would have been better.  Telling a Veteran to come back the next day to see her supervisor is unacceptable.  This is not a resolution for the customer, a Veteran on Veterans Day…Online McDonald’s channels seem to be positive, customer focused and although leaning towards broadcasting, they are interacting.  This clearly does not mesh with the in-store experience above.

This brings me to our focus for today’s #SMChat, equalizing in-store to online customer service experiences.

Q1. How can companies begin to equalize the customer service experience? Especially in large organizations?

Q2. What steps can be taken to make sure that all customer service professionals within an organization are on the same page?

Q3. What communication channels are best for stimulating equality, education and cooperation amongst team members that are in various locations?

Q4. How should existing organizations begin to make the equality shift with existing personnel?

Q5. What would be your top recommendation for organizations looking to shift to an equal #custserv experience?

We look forward to discussing these questions at 1pm ET , November 13, 2013 on #SMChat.