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Lowe's vs. Home Depot Customer Service and Professional Services
Lowe's vs. Home Depot: Customer Service
During multiple visits to our local Lowe's and Home Depot, we generally encountered friendly staff and good customer service. We also came across a couple of grumpy souls, including one older Lowe's associate who seemed put out to be asked the store hours shortly before closing time and a Home Depot locksmith who was grudgingly helpful.
Although both stores employed pleasant and knowledgeable sales people, Lowe's had the edge on customer service. The Lowe's staff seemed to go the extra mile -- answering questions and taking the time to educate us on windows or appliances or laminate flooring, and anticipating additional needs. Lowe's associates also made a point of following up and approaching us again as we continued to wander around. At Home Depot, only one associate approached us a second time and didn't remember our initial encounter.
Consumer reviews posted online of multiple Home Depot locations indicate that customer service is a mixed bag. One shopper from Alameda, Calif., and another from Minneapolis, Minn., report that employees range from helpful to clueless. A patron from Seattle, Wash., says employees go out of their way to offer advice. We also read other posts on Yelp complaining about associates who don't want to be bothered. One patron from Mesa, Ariz., gripes about an over-reliance on self-checkout lanes.
Lowe's customer service likewise receives positive and negative reviews. Shoppers at one Bellevue, Wash., store give it only two out of five stars on Yelp, citing cases of unprofessional or inexperienced staff. In contrast, visitors to an Austin, Texas, location award it more than three stars and highlight on-the-ball associates and friendly service. One Arlington, Mass., consumer writes that the two chain stores seem quite similar but recommends Lowe's wood-cutting service. Other consumer reviewers say they appreciate the "buy online, pick up in store" option at Lowe's.
The Home Depot Pro Desk.
Lowe's vs. Home Depot: Catering to the Professional.When it comes to serving home improvement professionals, Home Depot has long been thought to have the upper hand. The hardware megastore focuses on contractors and other paid repair and construction workers with a dedicated Pro desk. Home Depot offers this customer base perks like advance order pulling, job-site delivery seven days a week, and volume discounts for purchases greater than $2,500 (some items don't qualify for a discount). One electrician who commented on Electrician Talk says he's saved a bundle on projects by taking advantage of these services but still chooses to buy certain items from industry-specific supply houses.
Lowe's answers back with identical policies, right down to large-order discounts for expenditures exceeding $2,500. One blogger cum real estate investor, however, has found that follow-through at Lowe's leaves much to be desired, reporting that one sales associate arranged for a 10% discount but another was unwilling to budge on price. Despite Home Depot's reputation for attention to the professional, shop talk suggests that Lowe's may be narrowing the gap. A veteran contractor who posted on Helium.com says he prefers Lowe's for the hassle-free experience and excellent customer service.
Plenty of pros love to hate the big box stores and prefer to work with supply houses and local businesses whenever possible. Another post on Electrician Talk extols the advantages of a supply-house relationship and points out that there are professional-grade materials that Lowe's and Home Depot don't carry.
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