There are two supermarkets serving the community where my parents live. Let’s call them Supermarket A and Supermarket B. Both supermarkets are national brands. In fact, Supermarket B has a legacy that is older than Supermarket A. Supermarket A is where I frequent, because my parents introduced me to them first.
Last weekend, I decided to visit Supermarket B, because I heard that their bakery section is supposed to be good. The first thing I noticed when I entered the place is the lack of people. There were two customers. And both of them were in the checkout lanes. I went about getting what I needed and I noticed – they either did not have what I wanted or the existing stock was running out of shelf life. They did not get enough customers to recycle their stock. The bakery section was literally empty.
I headed for the checkout lane with what I found, feeling bad for these guys. And then I noticed, the lady at the checkout counter did not smile, nor greet and was rude to whatever questions I asked.
When I reached home and told my mother that we visited Supermarket B, her reaction was, “Why did you go there? Nobody goes to that place!” That’s when I realized that Supermarket B had just missed the market. They did not relate to the community. They did not understand customer service. They did not understand the importance they could have played in the community – serving their needs. They lost out.
I have always been allergic to bad customer service. Add to that aisles of soon-to-be-stale grocery, how many customers would be interested in coming back? If they don’t plan to change, they might as well sell out.
What can you do to protect your business or organization?
- Promise to give something and give it. Or don’t promise at all.
- Good customer service is not about smiling or greeting your customer. It is more about respect and understanding their needs. Be fanatical about good customer service.
- Keep a tab on competition. See what they are doing right and copy, then do better. See what they are doing wrong and improvise.
I had to visit Supermarket A that evening and it was crowded as usual.