The weakest link

A good friend of mine learned that his son made the lacrosse team.

That’s great news. And bad news – because now you have to buy all the lacrosse gear.

My friend didn’t grow up playing lacrosse, so he wasn’t sure what “good gear” looked like. Or what it cost.

He went to a large sports retailer. And it was his lucky day.

There was a representative from a major lacrosse gear manufacturer on site that day. The rep walked my friend through all the options.

He was patient. He was transparent. He told my friend not to worry about buying high-end gear until his son really knew that he wanted to be serious about the sport.

Over the course of an hour, the rep helped him buy all the stuff that anyone starting out in lacrosse would need. They didn’t have the right sized pair of gloves, but the rep said those could be shipped – and gave my friend a coupon.

Now, that is customer service!

Until it was time to check out. Because of the special coupon, and because of the need to ship part of the order from the online arm of the store, a few overrides were needed. The checkout employee sighed. Then asked for an override. The manager came over. When he learned what he needed to do, he sighed.

Time marched on, and both employees were hemming and hawing. And complaining. And not completing the order.

My friend had enough. He told them that he’d look online and try to complete the purchase.

He went home and purchased everything online … for less money. 

This store provided amazing service. There was a great selection. Wonderful knowledge. Until the end. 

The sales chain starts when a customer enters the store. And it didn’t end until a product is purchased and in a bag.

The store’s sale chain was strong…up until the last link. And that was enough to lose out on roughly $200 worth of merchandise.

How strong is your member service?

How strong is your weakest link?

Anthony Demangone

Anthony Demangone

Anthony Demangone is executive vice president and chief operating officer at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). Demangone oversees day-to-day operations and manages the association’s education, membership, ... Web: Details