>According to an article in today’s Orlando Sentinel, Office Depot is reconnecting with their customers. They realize they need customers more than customers need them. With competition from Staples, Office Max, WalMart and Amazon, Office Depot needs to step up their game in the customer experience. My experience is similar to Kevin Peters, the retail division leader, who donned a baseball cap and became a mystery shopper going to their stores and talking to customers. He stopped to look through their lens to find out why they weren’t buying. What he found is that customers weren’t being helped.

My last experience with Office Depot was when I was looking for speakers for my laptop. After looking around for a few minutes I asked a worker if they had any. “I don’t know” was the reply. No attempt to find out, no attempt to ask another employee or manager, just an “I don’t know”. So, what did I do? I left, just like all the other customers Mr. Peters talked to.

Today’s customers want knowledgeable employees and a consistently outstanding customer experience. If you hire someone, train them on your products/services and then, give them customer service skills training. You’ve got to be customer-focused.  Customer service is not an inherent skill, it is learned. It is an opportunity for your company to distinguish itself over all the others. Kudos to Office Depot to recognizing and doing something about it before they had no customers.


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