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… or Customer Service Is Not Yet Dead.

Okay the title was supposed to be a play on the song Stairway to Heaven, but the real point of this Happy Holly Project entry today is the Customer Service part of it all.

Plan A was going to be to do the blog entry today showing off the finished product of my Living Room.

Except that it was not finished.

I still needed to get and install Carpet … Stair Runners … and Stair Rods. At least that was the plan.

Of course the stairs needed to be painted before you install Stair Runners on top of them. And once you install carpet you don’t want to paint walls, so the rest of the walls first needed to be painted as well. A second coat in most places, but still it needed to be done.

So in anticipation of Plan A, a blog entry today on the finished product, I ventured out yesterday to the various home improvement stores in the area.

Suffice it to say that I am on a first name basis with most of the staff at the local Lowe’s Store.

And I know enough to point the cashiers to the fourth entry line on the computer screen when they pull up my My Lowe’s account using my phone number.

On seeing pictures of the project  … the before and after pictures …they suggested going out on the Internet and submitting it to some Inspiration section of the Lowe’s website.

Like I said, I’ve been there a lot.

But the same cannot be said of Home Depot just a few hundred yards up the road.

My previous experience had been that they didn’t have it, couldn’t get it, and weren’t really interested in helping me find it.

It did not surprise me that there were typically many cars in the Lowe’s parking lot … and not so many in the Home Depot lot.

But My Friend Ann swore by the Home Depot.

So yesterday I went there when pricing a carpet runner for the stairway here. And lo and behold their price was half that of Lowe’s for basically the same item. And they had pre-made throw rugs to go with it.

And there was a nice young man who showed me where the carpet runners were in the store. And no, they were not with the rest of the carpeting and flooring. They were more near appliances and lighting.

But far be it from me to question, right?

I liked the pattern and got a throw rug to see if it would look as good at home as it did in the store. And there was a nice woman at the checkout.

So last night, I went back to the store with Texas Linda, just to recheck the colors and see if they had all the things that would be needed.

The colors were great.

So was the Customer Service.

When we once more could not find the runners, another nice young man showed us where they were. And when I said I was thinking of putting in Stair Rods, he showed us samples of the nice ones that they sell for almost $10 a piece … and have to order.

Then a nice young gal named Heather took an extraordinary amount of time talking to us about the carpet, installation tips, and things to look out for. And on top of it all, pointed out the place on the shelves where they usually have four-packs of Stair Rods … for the same price as one of the other ones.

Now this was a gal after my own heart.

Except there were none there in stock. She looked high and low around that area, and checked her online device to see that they had been shipped and were due in soon.

Then she wrote down the SKU so I could call in and check on them in order to save a trip into the store if they were not there.

Now this was Customer Service far different from what I had been used to at Home Depot. Both of us commented on it.

Today, once all the painting was finished, the measurements measured, we set out yet again to the local Home Depot to get the Stair Runner.

Once there, several people came to help get and cut the carpet. Including, once again, Heather.

She was helpful just as she was yesterday, double checking the measurements and answering a few last-minute questions. She also wrote up the ticket and helped to load the carpet into the cart.

Instead of heading to the checkout, based on the good Customer Service of Heather, we decided to walk around the store for a few minutes to see what else they might have that could be used.

Linda and I both commented on how much more helpful the staff, and Heather specifically, had been. And then we headed to the check-out.

At the front of the store we were met by Heather pushing a shopping cart.

As I was about to make a “funny seeing you here” type comment, she happily said “Hey look at what I found!” and pointed proudly into the cart.

There in the cart, were several packages of the Stair Rods … the ones in a four-pack … the ones that had been out of stock.

She had, upon our leaving the area, taken it upon herself to check some other departments and stock information … and had found these over in the other flooring department on the other side of the store … and immediately thought of us … and put several in a cart and set off to see if we were still in the store.

That struck both Linda and I as Customer Service Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty.

And we asked to speak to her manager.

And told him of the extraordinary service that she had provided … and what a difference it had made in our shopping experience.

You never know when an extra effort will make all the difference to someone or something.

I for one will be going back there because of it.

Oh, and Plan B is to do the finished product blog entry tomorrow … complete with before and after pictures.

At least that is the plan.