Dan Naden

Home Depot: Help is all around you

Home Depot is a marvelous place if you are a homeowner or hope to soon become one. You can dream of sizzling some succulent steaks on a new grill, envisage that freshly painted living room, or marvelously conceptualize your backyard landscape all in one short visit. Wish fulfillment is served daily.

Home Depot store
A 'big box' store can have a personal feel.

The wealth of choices, selections, products, however, is oftentimes dizzying. I need help. I can’t find the right bolt. The off-color white just does not match up in the living room. What plant will thrive in the Texas heat? I need an expert opinion.

I recently had to replace a flapper on my toilet. After navigating to the right aisle in the Home Depot warehouse, I scanned the row until I located the toilet flappers. I wasn’t expecting more than a handful of options, so I was disappointed when I discovered nearly 7 options of flappers. Premium. Ultra. Jumbo. Select; you get the idea. Who knew the bevy of flapper selections?

I scratched my head, surveying the neatly arranged options; it was then that I noticed a ‘Need Help Center’. The center said: ‘just press this button and a sales associate will be here in moments’. Needing a lifeline, and not in the mood for a guessing game, I pressed the button and heard a faint, recognizable, “Beep, Beep, Beep” every five seconds. A grey-haired gentleman stood near me, eyeing the new faucets. After just one beep, he turned and said, “Can I help you with something?”

He proceeded to recommend the highest-quality flapper (hint: it’s all about the material) and said “Good luck. It’s an easy install.” After shaking the gentleman’s hand, the Home Depot associate arrived late to the party. I explained that a customer helped me find the right one. He looked us both in the eye and smiled. He must have thought, “that’s pretty cool.”

I felt compelled to give this friendly customer some help with his faucet, yet I would have steered him wrong. Not my area of expertise.

Customers helping customers; this is unbelievably satisfying and rewarding for both giver and receiver.
I certainly like having the orange-aproned Home Depot associate traipsing through the aisle, yet it’s equally nice to have a fellow customer ease my pain. Next time, I may seek out advice from my peers before pressing the ‘Need Help’ button.

Want to read about another great Home Depot experience?
See how
they turned UGGGHHH into WOW!

Until next time,
Dan Naden

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