I like the savings that I get at Costco, even if the supposed cost is impersonal stores and a lack of customer service. I don't get good customer service hardly, anywhere I go, and I find all big brick and mortar retailers to be very impersonal. So, for me, the savings don't actually cost me anything.
You save enough money at these larger stores to make up for the fact that the customer service is less than stellar. I for one do not like places that are overboard in their customer service anyhow, I find it overwhelming and slightly disturbing when employees go out of their way to help you.
Costco makes money by buying goods very cheaply in bulk which in turn allows them to sell to the public at a reduced price compared to other retailers. Part of what keeps their costs low is not investing to make stores pretty, the stores only have to be functional warehouses for the most part. Additionally only having the bare bones amount of staff needed to run the stores allows them to save money and pass that onto consumers. The cost of both of these is that the stores aren't pretty and there isn't a strong team dedicated to only customer service. At the end of the day I believe most people would rather have low-priced goods than the best customer service and the prettiest stores.
If a consumer chooses to shop at a store that offers cost savings then that person has to be able to accept the fact that the store may be lacking in terms of decor, warmth or customer service. The cost savings has to come back to that merchant somehow and if that's how the store chooses to make up the difference, then that is perfectly acceptable. If a consumer expects more from a store then he/she should also plan on the prices reflecting that benefit.
I would never want to dictate what level of customer service and "personality" justifies charging more for products. If I want bottom-dollar prices, and I'm willing to sacrifice a little store flair and friendly service, then I'm glad I have that right. And I'm glad stores like Costco are there to fill that niche.
If Costco were taken as a model for all retail outlets, the trend would be highly problematic. Customer service is an important aspect of promoting consumer satisfaction. It helps make shopping a convenient rather than exorbitantly time-wasting activity. It also helps consumers select the products that best meet their needs by allowing one-on-one communication to resolve questions and concerns. But for many people with regard to many of their purchases, they will neither want nor need help. They will welcome the savings available through a more impersonal model. They should have the choice to make Costco and similar chains a part of their shopping repertoire.
It certainly depends on what you are buying, but there are many items that you can save a tremendous amount of money on by buying in bulk from places like Costco. When you can buy allergy medicine for 60% less at Costco than at Safeway, are you really going to be unhappy about the lack of customer service? And when is the last time an employee at Safeway offered you help anyway?
The stark utilitarian environment in Costco and similar stores are rather irrelevant when you take into consideration the amount of money that you're saving. Those places are big and if you can't find what you're looking for, you can probably find something else equally attractive. A lack of customer service can always be a hindrance, of course, but as the savings start to add up it starts to matter less and less.
The main reason Costco is successful is because people are saving money. They are not there to make friends or feel at home. Costco's strategy is working, and is around to stay.
The money people save by joining membership stores such as Costco and Sam's Club is usually a substantial amount over the long haul. Yes, the stores are impersonal and no, the service is not always that great. But the whole purpose for joining is to save money, not have someone hold your hand throughout the buying process! Millions of people must agree with me, otherwise these clubs would be out of business.
Do not ever make a major purchase from one of Costco's vendors/suppliers. They know Costco does not stand behind their members and the vendors/supplies will rip you off and Costco could care less. Look at reviews for their travel or granite counter top offerings. They are a joke and a rip off.
Some employees there are downright rude; not only cashiers, even the managers are like that. They are not there to help you. They act like they are giving you a big favor to allow you to shop there. Do not ill treat people unless you want to be treated the same. Money cannot buy respect. It does not worth it.
Kirkland/Costco's notorious bad customer service reflects their poor management style from the top down. Unfortunately, customers rank last in priority at Costco. It has resulted in at least one customer's death, parking lot assaults, break-ins to customers' cars, stolen cars and a kidnapped infant.
The infant was being removed from the car by the parent when someone attacked and assaulted the parent in the Costco parking lot, then stole the car with the infant still in the car seat. If you do see security vehicles driving around Costco's parking lots, the security is not there to deter car theft, car break-ins or preventing assaults against customers.
Costco parking lot security function is to provide back up to the loss prevention security personnel floaters in the store, to escort certain employees to their cars and to watch the front door during bank vehicle pick-ups.
The lack of personalization at Costco makes it very difficult to adhere to dietary restrictions. If their customer service department were better, I'd have no issues, as it would be easier to directly order items that I might need. However, their stores are truly lacking, when it comes to options.
Costco is the least customer friendly store I have even been to. The savings are not worth the hassle of going there. The cashiers are unfriendly. You can never find an employee in the store to help you find anything you are looking for. They really need to improve their customer service.
I disagree that the savings at Costco make up for poor service and impersonal stores because it shouldn't matter how much a person is saving when it comes to customer service. I don't care if it's a Goodwill or a high end shop in Beverly Hills. Customer service should be top priority all the time. I'd rather spend a few extra cents if I'm promised better customer service elsewhere. Rude cashiers, poor service and impersonal stores are not fun to deal with.
Costco stores are not a very pleasant shopping experience. The lack of customer service is terrible since you do not know how to choose products that you may ending buying something you don't want.
In addition, for some products the lack of variety and personal option make a bad shopping experience. Savings is not always everything.