Complaints Can Lead To Progress

Just Joyce
By Just Joyce Latest Reply 2014-02-07 22:55:27 -0600
Started 2014-01-24 11:27:36 -0600

Far too often, people will complain about something instead of going to the source that caused the complaint. There comes a time where complaints need action. The action taken can lead to solutions to the problem. I have always said it is easy to complain. I have learned that complainers most often have not taken any kind of action when asked what they have done about the problem.

A trip to the supermarket on Monday left me frustrated because a sale item was not in the store. I went to Customer Service only to learn that the item had never been delivered. I thought about this for a day or so and fired off an email to the chains Customer Service unit. I received a call from the Assistant Manager of the store the next day. He was very apologetic and said the store manager never told anyone the item was in the store or where the item was located. It turned out that I was not the only person who complained.

During the course of our conversation, he told me he was sent to the store to help the manager find a way to increase sales. I gave the following ideas. The store is located between an affluent community and a community where many of the residents are less affluent. I said the ethnic background of both communities are 90% African American and we have a very high rate of diabetes and heart problems in our community’s and yet the store does not carry a lot of heart healthy or diabetic friendly items. What they have is all over the store. I asked if an aisle could be dedicated for cereals, snacks, beverages, breads and low salt/fat foods. I also told him that I have found a store that has done that. He became very interested. I also asked why not include store tours with a nutritionist to help diabetics and heart patients with choosing healthy foods. He suggested that the tour included healthy meal planning for all income brackets especially young mothers. I asked about a pharmacy tour with the pharmacist to help people understand medications. This stores chain use to do both of these. He said there was talk of bringing it back. He wants to add cards with health tips about the produce. The store has recipe cards for meats and produce.

It ended with him saying he was going to put together a presentation for upper management to get his project approved and he wanted to go to community meetings with a presentation of what the store was adding when and if he got approval. You never know what will happen when you file a complaint. Thankfully, this manager is really interested in making this store unique. I don’t know where this will go but if this can happen this will become my favorite store.

11 replies

red flower lady
red flower lady 2014-02-06 01:06:34 -0600 Report

Well done! With stores changing all the time they sometimes forget what people really need.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-06 11:33:29 -0600 Report

Thanks Red. It isn't that stores forget what people want, it is that people don't take advantage of using customer service and tell them what they want. Today most stores have an on line system to contact them. This is what I did.

Glucerna 2014-01-25 19:48:46 -0600 Report

I really like your proactive stance, Joyce. Stores want our business, and when the store manager hears constructive ideas like yours, they are bound to follow through at some level. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-01-25 21:25:25 -0600 Report

This is true with just about everything Lynn. People will complain to neighbors, family, friends and coworkers about everything and will not go to the souce of the complaint.

Lynn I tell you sometimes in meetings especially community meetings, I am ready to scream. People come and complain. A woman complained that she had a drug dealer on her corner at different times and no one will do anything. I asked her if she called 911 to report it and she said no. I told her then it can't be that much of a problem if she chose to do nothing about it. After the meeting the Commander asked her for the location and she told him she didn't want to get them in trouble. I was floored. We both walked away at that point. She could have given him the information without calling 911 and she refused. The next month the exact same complaint. The Commander told her he tried to help and she didn't want it. I said if you won't let him help stop wasting meeting time complaining. When she stopped getting the attention she wanted and she realized I would not not let her complain she finally gave him the information and the drug dealer was finally arrested. Took her almost 6 months to get her problem solved. You have to take a stand or stay in the same rut.

101 Diabetics
101 Diabetics 2014-01-25 17:03:04 -0600 Report

Wow! That is great! It is strange that the stores do not have an area in which people can find foods that are good for them. When first diagnosed, I didn't have a clue about any of this. It has taken quite some time to begin to feel more comfortable.

A store doing something like this would be fantastic!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-01-25 17:48:19 -0600 Report

101, I fight for what is needed. The local supermarket 3 blocks from me closed. I rarely went to it because I could not stand the store or the owner.

I went to the store one Saturday evening to get lunch meat for sandwiches we needed for a bus trip. The next morning 2 packs were rotten. Since I was not home that day I was there bright and early the next day. I asked for the meat manager. My neighbor who was the Executive Director of our Community Association and I (I am Vice President) inquried about the spoiled product. We looked at all of the packaged lunch meat. We got their grocery bags and stripped that section. The meat on close inspection was greenish around the edges. Being in hurry I didn't check this when I made my purchase. The meat manager said the vendor stocked the shelf. I said as manager didn't you check behind him while he was stocking and he said no he never does. He lost his job.

We had the loss prevention manager at a community meeting. I asked him why do they not check product and he told me my meat spoiled between the store and my house. I told him I live 3 blocks and even in 90 degree weather food would not spoil within 3 blocks from the store.

All you have to do is complain and question. Stores need customers. If the store isn't willing to work with customers, I do not shop at that store.

jigsaw 2014-01-25 08:16:34 -0600 Report

Seems like you delivered an excellent idea with thought and diplomacy. I agree with your thoughts on the subject. Far too many businesses involved in the food industry, fail to take those with diabetes into consideration. If more restaurants, and food stores did, it would probably benefit all involved, especially since diabetes is a condition of epidemic proportions.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-01-25 11:36:32 -0600 Report

Jigsaw, I never just focus on people with diabetics. My community has people with all kinds of health problems. You can't advocate for one group while omitting the other.

I went to pick up my item and my sister was looking for more. We found the Weight Watchers candy hidden on the bottom of the shelf with the other candy. An employee stocking the shelf said the product doesn't sell. I said I guess not if you have it hidden on the bottom shelf instead of in an aisle dedicated to healthy low carb foods. He said that is very true.

I have a habit of taking a stand and speaking out. You would be suprised at what I have managed to get done.

jigsaw 2014-01-25 14:35:52 -0600 Report

You know, it took me about a second to realize what it is that I like about you! You are a caring individual with a very big heart! Your passion shines through, above and beyond.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-01-25 16:23:27 -0600 Report

Thanks Jigsaw, so is yours and that is why I like you. You share information that always helps to educate someone.

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