A while back, a friend of mine shared an experience they had in a local supermarket. It follows the same pattern we saw in “Ignore Your Customer“, although it is disguised as “Asking All The Right Questions”. Here’s the story as shared with me:
I was in the Grocery Store yesterday. I had a cart full and was at the checkout stand. It was VERY busy and there were only a few check stands open. The HEAD CLERK came and opened a register and I got in line. I am a frequent shopper to this store. My son put the groceries on the conveyer belt while I used my debit card at the machine. I entered my pin and selected all of my information so that the checker didn’t have to wait for me. (After all, I am a good and loyal customer keeping the thoughts of others first and foremost. No one likes a fumbler at the checkout stand when you’re next.) I completed using the machine and was standing there waiting for my total.
Checker (the HEAD CLERK mind you): would you like some help out today?
Me: no thank you, my son will help me.
He proceeds to run more groceries through the scanner. As he’s nearing the end…..
Checker: Would you like some help out today?
Me: no, I’m fine. (I say looking at him strangely)
He stares at me and mumbles something.
Me: I’m sorry, what did you say?
Checker again: Cash, check or charge?
Me: Why are you asking me that? (doesn’t your cash register tell you I’ve already put in that information?)
Checker: how are you going to pay for your groceries today?
Me: with my debit card that I already put in your machine (while you were asking me the same question again)
Checker is staring at me again.
Checker: (reading the receipt he just printed) Thank you Blah Blah (he completely mangles my name)
Bagger at check-stand after all this is completed (he was there throughout this whole conversation): Would you like some help out today?
What’s the moral of the story? LISTEN to your Customers. If we think that “training” our employees with some Customer Service jargon to say to our customers works….sadly, it doesn’t. Especially when they spout it off without actually listening to what the Customers say.
Thanks for reading…and thanks for listening,