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A fantastic Kmart customer service experience

A fantastic Kmart customer service experience
A fantastic Kmart customer service experience
Photo by Professor Metze

Great customer service is not only doing what is required in the store manual; moreover, the Sales Associate must go above and beyond what is required to be an exceptional customer service professional.

A great example of exceptional customer service is best illustrated this week by a Sales Associate at Kmart Store #3160 located on 1647 Crofton Centre in Crofton, Maryland.

Running out of ink, memo pads, and note cards, your customer service reporter stopped by the Kmart store prior to conducting an interview. Kmart has an ample supply of memo pads and ink pens at very reasonable prices. The entire set of ink pens, memo pads, and index cards came to $6.47.

As the purchase was being made the Sales Associate smiled broadly and thanked her customer for choosing Kmart. As she was completing the transaction, probably as is required by the company manual, she asked if her customer was a Kmart Bonus Rewards Club member.

Having not been in the store recently the customer said no. The Sales Associate was very kind and polite. She said having the Kmart Bonus Rewards Club membership really saved customers money and it would only take a few minutes to get the membership.

The customer, at that point, pulled out a key ring with different plastic reward cards from Staples, Office Depot, Rite-Aid, CVS, Walgreens, Giant, Safeway, and plastic key ring library cards from libraries in three states and the District. “Please not another card,” he said.

The Kmart Sales Associate laughed, goodheartedly and smiled. “I can enter your telephone number. Maybe you are already a Kmart Bonus Rewards Club member,” she said with a smile.

Now, the last time the customer could remember shopping in the store was to get a pair of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajamas for his 3 year old son. That was in 1991. But the Sales Associate was so pleasant the customer said, “Why Not?”

Since arriving in Washington as a professor in 1990, the customer had only two addresses in nearly 25 years. So two cellphone numbers and two land line numbers were given. Each number did not register until the customer gave the number of his faculty apartment at Howard University from 24 years ago. The Sales Associate said, “BINGO! You are already a Kmart Bonus Rewards member.”

The rewards points had been accumulating for unknown years. Having never used the rewards points it turned out that the ink pens, memo pads, and index cards were free. The Kmart Bonus Rewards points paid for the entire purchase.

The customer in line behind the present writer said, “Can I have a Kmart Bonus Rewards membership too,” and laughed. The point of this customer service story is the way the Sales Associate treated her customer.

Having been a Kmart customer since 1971, it was a great feeling to be rewarded for customer loyalty by having the entire supply of writing ink pens, memo pads, and index note cards at no additional cost. And there were still bonus rewards points for flowers for Mother’s Day.

Kmart started with an $8,000 investment of life savings by the man who founded a company that became Kmart. His name was Sebastian S. Kresge. The S.S. Kresge Corporation opened the first Kmart store on March 1, 1962 in Garden City, Michigan. The original $8,000 investment was the start of a small business that today, even with the devastating economy of the past seven years, Kmart is still the nation’s third largest retail chain behind Walmart and Target. received a customer service survey report with the highest commendation for the excellent customer service given by the Kmart Sales Associate. Every Kmart shopper should complete the survey with the number on their receipt.

Now that was a Blue Light Special.

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