It’s amazing how a tiny interruption in your workday can turn you into Miss Cranky Pants.

It was to be an extremely busy day as I attempted to get my sole proprietor business ready for me to be gone on a vacation.  The “to do” list was a mile long, but I was hammering away at it successfully until…that one thing happened.

I had to determine if something I had purchased could be returned to a store.  It was a perishable item so I was willing to accept the fact that, maybe, store policy wouldn’t allow me to return it.  That was going to be okay with me, but first I just wanted to check.

So I called the store.  That’s where the plot started to thicken.

First, I had to listen to an extremely long automated “ad” alerting me that this store needed new workers, complete with long details about how I could go about applying for a job there. I did not now, nor would I ever, want to work at this store.

Second, the automated voice then went through what I should do if I wanted to contact a certain department within the store. Let’s just say there were A LOT of departments. Yet, I had a basic customer service question: Could I return a certain item to the store?

There must have been 12 departments I could have pressed #___ for, yet I only wanted the one general one, and that one was LAST on the very long list. Customer service was last on the list?!  Hmmm….

Okay.  Maybe it was 3 minutes out of my day, but still, I was irked, peeved, put out and put upon.

They did agree to take my item back, in a very cheery and speedy way, by the way.  But…it all left a bad taste in my mouth. I’m wondering if anybody had “road tested” this automated system before unleashing it on the public.

A round of mystery shops would be the perfect “road test” because they would uncover the issues you need to address before you lose the loyalty of any customers. What better investment than that could you make in growing your business through customer retention?