Wednesday, March 9, 2011

All the facilities in the world cannot make up for service deficiencies

We were shopping at a newly renovated and expanded supermarket recently. The place looks excellent, it carries the almost the full range we want. We certainly did our weekly shopping at the place but it was obvious that something was not right about the place.

It all came together at the point of checking out. It was indeed the service. There were newly recruited cashiers at the checkout counters. The manner in which they punched your bill you lose faith of the accuracy of the bill.

Supervisory staff and other staff at the checkout and elsewhere in the store did not have any kind of orientation towards customer service. It was as if that the supermarket chain was doing us a favor by selling goods! The manner in which they look at you, the urgency within which they attend to things such as weighing and finding goods for you and above all the feeling that they show that we the customers are a bother was just extraordinary.

Let us draw parallels with another outlet of belonging to the same chain which is smaller in size, carries less range. I've always realized that my basket size is 20% less there but we have no issues in shopping at that place. It is the complete opposite when it comes to service. There is much greater sense of sincerity at every point of customer contact right from the security.

Here's the thing. We decided that we would not return to the newly expanded outlet again but will stick to our known location.

However in the process the chain of supermarkets will loose 20% of our weekly basket value which will go else where. Given the special counters that they had at the newly renovated outlet such as bakery etc they definitely lost out an opportunity to up sell to our family and increasing the share of our wallet at least by another 5%.

Point is that might be smaller absolute amount to have lost out from ours as an individual customer.

Just work out the lifetime value that they loose from us. We as a family would continue to shop for at least another 20 years minimum and basket values will continue to grow.

Just to work out the math.

20years * 52 weeks = 1040 times of weekly shopping!

Now multiply that by the amount!

I only wish the staff on the ground realize this.

Like us I'm sure there were others who would have walked out from the place thinking never to return.

Now it's obvious that they have a serious problem.

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