Thursday, May 26, 2011

Use Common Sense AND Customer Service

“Did you find everything you were looking for today?” This question seems to be the latest from the scripted service crowd. The Publix grocery store cashiers have been asking this routinely for about a year. All in all, I respond with a yes and frequently engage the cashier in conversation.

However, there is a time when the question borders on the ridiculous. The Publix store I frequent had just completed “a redo” the night before. Many managers were still scrambling to put the finishing touches on the new look. Now a redo means pretty much switching around all the items. Grocery shopping is something I like to do with speed. So rearranging is a deterrent to my goal of get in and get out.

I had finally finished the shopping which included much backtracking and asking for help. Then the cashier asks, “Did you find everything you were looking for today?” I smiled and said, “Today is not a good day to ask that”. Her friendly response was that she had to ask it. That is a problem! Management should give the cashiers a break for a week and allow flexibility in the script.

Common sense needs to prevail in customer service. Managers must clear the path for employees to engage with the customer in a real and genuine way. The script gets tiresome to your frequent customers. To keep your loyal customers give them authentic customer service.

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