What happened to customer service?

Browsing on Forbes.com today, I found an article from last December about the fact that today’s luxury retailers are placing a greater emphasis on customer service than they have before.

 

The staff is friendly and eager to educate any customer about the store’s wares regardless if they are an A-list celebrity or an everyday shopper.

From Top Shops 2006 – Forbes.com

 

This got me to thinking: what happened to customer service? These retailers are charging enough to cover their extravagant customer service policies, but it seems like even low-price retailers used to focus more on customer service than they do today. Have we gotten to the point as a country where we are willing to sacrifice personal contact and pride in products to save money? I think we have and that’s sad. We care so much about getting a deal that we tell the retailers (by our purchasing decisions) that we don’t care about helpful customer service as long as the price is low. Consequently, stores cut customer service to cut prices. They also cut quality to cut prices, and since there’s no customer service, no one cares.

 

It seems I’ve heard this same complaint coming from people I know who hate the lack of customer service but won’t pay more to send a message. Maybe I’m a hypocrite, too. It’s time I put my money where my mouth is. It’s time I start shopping places where I’ll be asked, "Can I help you find something?" Will you join me?