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More Customer Service Experiences...

Two weeks ago, I was on vacation on Cape Cod. The weather was rainy (as it has been for over a month in Massachusetts), so my friends and I did a lot of cooking. That necessitated going to the grocery store - several times.

The old grocery store in my town was recently sold to a new chain. I welcomed the change as the new store was to be significantly expanded. But I did notice one thing... every time I asked where I could find something in the newly rearranged store, I got one of two answers. The first was, "I don’t know." The second was, "Over there somewhere."

I don’t need to be personally escorted to the correct aisle to find the item I’m seeking, but it would be really helpful if the people in the store knew where the products were located. It would also be helpful if they knew what the store stocked.

What made it worse was that no one seemed to care. It seemed as if we (the customers) were an inconvenience. We just didn’t matter.

So, after the third time of getting the unhelpful run around, I went to a smaller (and a little more expensive) store for my groceries. At that store, I was not only welcomed but several sales clerks who I’ve seen over the years in town recognized me. These clerks knew what was in the store and where to find it. They even made recommendations of new and interesting things that they’d added to the inventory. I felt helped and appreciated. It was a refreshing experience - and a lot more fun.

Now, I know our business is training, but I couldn’t help but think that a little customer service training for their staff (combined with some basic instruction on the layout of products) would have paid off and help them deliver a much better experience for customers at the new grocery store. Why didn’t they do it? Basic customer service training isn’t a huge investment of money. It could pay for itself VERY quickly. I wonder why the managers of the new store didn’t even try.

Posted under Customer Service, Miscellaneous Thoughts by Stewart on Jul 10, 2009 | Comments: 0 | Post a comment»

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