I used to work in retail and have always been amazed at the thin line between a great customer service experience and a horrible one. As retail employees, you can never control what issues customers will come to you with but you can always control how you handle those issues. It's in your actions after a problem has manifested that will usually dictate what experience the customer walks away with.
Case in point, I needed a new USB hub right away and ordered one from BestBuy.com and chose to pick up the item at the local store in Emeryville. A few minutes after ordering, I get the "Your item is ready for pick up!" email notification. Smooth sailing so far. A couple of hours later, I swing by the store on my way home and walk up to the pick up counter. I'm immediately greeted by the person behind the counter who takes my information, checks my ID, and then proceeds to look for my item in the pick up pile behind her. I'm getting a good feeling. After a few minutes of looking, the sales person gets a nervous look on her face as she continues to search through the pile. After a few more minutes she comes back and tells me she can't find my item but will just go grab it off the shelf. Kind of defeats the purpose of online ordering for pick up, but oh well, no big deal. After about 5 minutes she comes back and says they can't find any on the shelves and that she'll need to call the sales person in charge of those items to grab one for her in the back. Getting a little annoyed but what can I do? After another 10 minutes, I'm starting to get pissed. What should have been a 5 minute pick up has become nearly half an hour. When the sales person finally comes back, she says they can't find the item. When I ask what my alternatives are, she says I can always check back tomorrow or she can refund my purchase. After asking whether they can ship me the product (no) or call me when it is available (no), I'm ready to erupt. It's at this point that a passing manager sees what's going on and jumps in. After a quick explanation by the sales person, he tells me he'll go grab me another brand and they'll substitute it for my missing one. After a few minutes, he comes back with a more expensive model (mine was $29.99, the one he brought back was $49.99) and they'll match the price from my original purchase and another 15% off for my trouble.
Just before that manager resolved the issue, I had told myself I would never buy another item from Best Buy. I was never a big Best Buy customer to begin with (you can always find lower prices online) but in one quick stroke, that manager turned around the situation. Not only did he save the sale, he actually made me want to shop there more often. I know the sales person didn't have the authority to creatively change the transaction but she could have checked with her manager for whatever options were available to soothe an upset customer. Hopefully, she'll do this in the future.