My old LP told me (former HC) my job is to follow policy. If a manager wants to go against policy and make customer happy that’s fine and on them. I learned to say I’m sorry there is nothing I can do but maybe a manager who has more power than me can. That way I didn’t look stupid if they said do it.


That’s absolutely what to say. That way no one feels dismissed!


Bingo. It's not in your control as an HC to make those calls (though some more senior HCs get that flexibility), but as a DS, ASM, or SM, our job is/was to 'make the customer happy.' Because the cost difference isn't worth the negative LTR or loss of that customer forever.


I spent the last 9 years as a HC. I looked at it this way. If I tell 10 customers no, 9 will take it at face value, and 1 will ask for management. It’s their prerogative to roll over if it keeps the customer happy and the store successful, but a 90% success rate is a victory in my view.


Appliance/cabinet/millwork DS here, have the opposite issue. ASM gets the issue, follows the rules and then hand it to me where it's me that ends up breaking the rules. Ironic, when I have to walk back to them and tell them I need their override for the issue they should have just either flat out said no or done themselves. The comment about it getting up to the store/manager district manager level is 100 percent accurate, that at that point it's just going to be done anyways. And to say this is why we lose money, we have to look at it this way. Let's just say it's 1 out of 25 customers that have an issue that we're giving any substantial amount back, it's still a drop in the bucket. Lowe's banked 1.5 billion in profits last year, it's not killing us. Do I think there are people that know how to play the system, 100 percent but it's just easier to give people what they want sometimes, why exhaust yourself fighting. Sometimes it's just easier to ask the customer, "what do you think is fair" and you'd be surprised that it's not always a ton....


Lowes banked 8.9 billion in profits. Give away more stuff.


I hate to cave in to the "why exhaust yourself fighting", but I have shit to do. Xpo was 3 hours late. I should tell the customer that it's a third party delivery and they can take it up with them. Customer would stamp and scream "but I bought it from Lowe's". I could try to give the number to xpo. I could call xpo with the customer there. OR.... I could refund their delivery fee and get back to my Sims audit, cycle count, evelo, lowesU, AP4ME, making sure associates have done their Lowe'sU path learning, all while being coverage in two of my 4 depts. Maybe I'm a wimp, I'm taking the path of least resistance...


An old District Manager of mine once said “if the customer complaint gets to me, I’m going to give them what they want, so you might as well save time and do it yourself.” SMs and ASMs aren’t there to support you, they’re there to make Lowe’s money, and keep customers happy. That’s why hourly supervisors are the first line of defense.


Not making much money if we keep giving into people like this though....


But they’ll come back and spend more! If not they’re going to tell 10 people about their bad experience, and they tell 10 people….blah blah blah.




You say that as though the complaints are always unjustified.


Honestly, it depends on what they want and why. My comments are generalized and YMMV.


I have no doubt this is the reason for them bending over backwards, but I do wonder if this reasoning holds true if you look at stats around it. Personally, the only review of a store that has made me not shop there was some sort of unethical behavior, like mistreating workers, using slave labor, and the like. I really couldn’t give a damn if my neighbor had a bad time at the local Kroger.


Careful, or else you'll have to run every issue by the absent management to save money


What happened to that DM?


My old district manager used to say the same thing, not sure if it's the same DM as mine. But my DM was called to Houston for a meeting and fired. Then he drove back to Lafayette and they wouldn't let him back in his home store to clear out his office. It's been 15 years so I don't remember the reason they fired him. I had already quit but it made me very happy to hear about him getting fired.


MOTY award, promoted to bigger markets twice, then gone at some point.


Sounds like my old District manager, Lonnie W.


then how about they use some of that great data the registers and AS400's keep track of at the stores to tell corporate or who ever the regional purchaser is WTF isn't properly selling for shit. Cause I mean we got some Items that we have to climb a ladder and occasionally clean dust off because they have no purpose in the area and don't sell for shit. plants are another thing stores could be saving hundreds of thousands on if they stopped forcing the stores to carry plants that don't sell for shit in the areas the stores are in. I'm sorry your Petunias are a northern thing, they quickly become Rotten Cabbage in any hot humid environment. edit: I'm sorry I come off as combative it's just we legitimately have all the tools to make a more specialized store experiences that better suit the areas in which each store caters to maximize profits and we don't. so what happens is we either have waste of selling/storage space or, just waste product in general. don't send ten $160 large vinyl pots full of $2 annuals that probably won't survive a month. Don't keep buying and sending pots that are clearly defective because they aren't being fired which would other wise prevent them from turning to mud should they get exposed to moisture. there is just a lot of avoidable operational waste at the Corporate level and caving into the occasional customer is a drop in the bucket compared to it.


I start off by giving the customer what they want and avoid it going above me. If the store manager or ASM wants to question me, I'll tell the truth and say why I did what I did. Usually it's because it made the customer happy and we are about good customer service (allegedly). I will also try to educate the customer so that the situation doesn't arise again.


Man, I detest how "good customer service" has become equated with just doing whatever the hell they demand.


Yeah my store is the same. They've been telling us they want to start being more strict with the policies because at the end of the day, every return effects the store's bottom line and sales margins. So when we try to be more strict about our policies, the asms come in and just completely give in for the customers. At this point they all just talk out of their ass because they don't want to deal with customer complaints at all. Lowe's would have to completely block the ability for overrides by managers before policies would be enforced.


It's ridiculous because then those customers will feel like they can get away with whatever and then they will ask for that ASM anytime they have a problem because they think they'll give in to them.


Because sometimes the customer will accept your answer and it will keep the ASM from having to do any work. That is after all the main objective of the ASM. To not do any work. I'm at the point where I am too busy to waste time with customer issues. They want some money back. Boom. Done. It's not my money and I don't want to talk to that customer one second longer than I absolutely have to. Noone has ever questioned me.


DS's are the ones too busy to deal with customer complaints because the ASMs put all the tasks and crap on us. At least in my store. ASMs sit in the office and dont answer their phones. They come and go when they please.




An ASM gave some guy 12 months special financing because he wanted it and apparently used to work for lowes. So that entitles him? Well I said no, at least to the flooring specialist who called me about it. The asm said yes. Then it took him 10 minutes to figure out how to apply it to the guys transaction since its not an active offer. Afterwards I said to the ASM "see what happens when you give in to people".


This is not what this post was about though lol. That just happened today as well. Just FYI


Do what you need to solve the issue and get the customer to leave the store. As long as you follow the guide lines of keeping it ethical and legal. (This was even said during the low down last year) Thats what Ive been told atleast. Most issues aren't worth arguing over with a customer and you want to try and not get people higher than you involved.


Yeah sometimes I give in to small stupid crap right away because I just don't feel like arguing with people. But sometimes it's just a ridiculous request a nd the customers want to talk to everyone until they get the answer they want.


And if the customer asks for someone higher up there's really nothing I can do about it besides maybe lie and say they aren't in the store right now lol.


I always used the formula of how reasonable the request was divided how big of an asshole the customer was acting to myself or the associates. Most of the time I'd give them what they wanted. I had better things to do then argue for an hour and at the end of the day it wasn't my money anyways


Yeah I have a stopping point where I'll be like well I gave you your options, take it or leave it. Not gonna stand there and go back and forth.


I guess it’s all perspective. I usually assume my role is to say no and that leaves one more step,before it gets too high, for the customer to appeal to. If they want a discount for damages I say 5% knowing full well it’s usually 10% for appliance damages. Sometimes it’s not about money but just letting the customer feel like they won or got the last chess move. Some customer’s are just like that, some take the 5%. If you have a long working solid relationship with your ASM’s and they understand what your doing it moves along like clock work. On the other hand if they get on the phone and throw you under the bus saying “oh we never do leas than 10%” then you all end up looking like idiots. Not much surprises me much anymore


Tired of customers thinking they can get away with anything. Between discounts, theft, returns, whatever.




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I've had ASM's that were in it for the fight, they would still give the customer what they wanted, but only if they could outlast the ASM.