STORES CAN LOSE THEIR CUSTOMERS DUE TO INADEQUATE SERVICE. STOCK PHOTO (IMAGE: ATOMS / UNSPLASH)
I want to share my experience of visiting a grocery store in Itäkeskus in Helsinki.
The company has two stores located in the Capital Region: one in Itäkeskus, another in Tikkurila, Vantaa. One of them is located in the shopping centre Itis in Itäkeskus, Helsinki. It is the second largest shopping centre in Finland, and has an iconic role both as a landmark and a place for shopping and gathering within the region. I myself am a fairly frequent shopper there.
The assortment of the store is focused on goods from Russia, Estonia, and Eastern Europe. (The situation with products from Russia may have changed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, although, last time I visited, I still noticed goods with long shelf lives from Russia such as chocolate, tea, coffee, juices, spices, and canned food.)
I want to note that I do not like products from Russia because of the generally low quality of the products; besides, if you deliver products to Finland, it is clear that you need to increase the prices for logistics. It follows that food prices are a bit overpriced in the store. But there are products sold at a good cost, for example, cakes brought from Estonia.
Rude store service
How many times have I entered the store and not been greeted by the staff, although the store is small and the staff must have seen me each time? Not only that, but the salespeople have been rude to me several times. For example, the last time I went to Itäkeskus, I said hello, and got no reply. I take some goods, go to the checkout, and the saleswoman says goodbye to me, then tosses the goods on the counter. I think: ‘I will not sink to that level, I will behave in a civilized way,’ put the goods in my backpack and say ‘Thank you’ in a polite manner. No reply.
After repeated experiences of rude customer service, I decided to read the reviews on Google Maps. Some reviewers have left positive ones, but I decided to read reviews with a 3-star and lower rating. Their writers describe that they like the products, but the staff is rude, which matches my own experience as a regular customer. Some write that the products they purchased were not marked with expiration dates.
As a result of reading the reviews, I understood that I was not the only customer who has met with negativity from the staff. Reviews of boorish service span the last five years, so apparently the management does not take any action to improve the customer experience. This is a great pity, since the selection of the store is very unique in Finland and some of the products are perhaps not available anywhere else in the country.
In conclusion: it is unpleasant to visit the store, and, although I have been a frequent customer for a fairly long time, due to repeated experiences of being showered with negativity and rudeness, I am forced to look for some other store to replace the one in Itis as my regular place for shopping for these type of goods.