My son, daughter in law and the two cutest grand children on the planet recently moved from Silver Spring, Maryland to Concord, Massachusetts.
While visiting with them and sharing breakfast in a place called Village Restaurant, my daughter in law mentioned how nice people were in Concord and how helpful. Specifically she mentioned that on one trip to the local Stop n Shop she requested that they carry a certain kind of fruit cup. “Three guys”, she said, “worked on it immediately” and told her that they will order it for her and “should have it in stock when she gets back next week from her trip.” I was impressed.
Then she told me that when they lived in Maryland, she had asked the same question of the local supermarket and they people on duty just stared at her and said something like, “you’ll have to speak to the owner, mostly they just walked away,” she said.
My marketing mind went to work.
What made the difference between these two stores? Was it hiring the right people? Was it training? Was it empowering people to make a decision? Was it the culture of the organization that expected the customer to be delighted? Was it salary? Was it incentives?
Obviously, it was all of the above.
But one thing stood out. After she left the store in Concord, MA, she said, “the manager of the store called her on her cell phone and said he appreciated her input and would call her personally when the product came in.”
The other store in Maryland didn’t even bother to call and say they did not or could not get the product.
Leadership will tell. Management will tell. If your staff is acting like they don’t care enough about the customer, take a look at how you’re treating the customer. Then look again.
Once, one of my “former” clients said, “Fred this is a great business and I know I could make a lot of money at it… if it wasn’t for the customers!”
You can’t make this stuff up.