What a Grocery Store Experience Can Teach You About Customer Experience

The other day I was in line to check out from a grocery store but the process was delayed. The guy in front of me was buying some candy but the product hadn’t been entered into the computer yet. So it wouldn’t ring up. It’s an item that’s less than $5 but the cashier picks up the phone and calls for a price check.

So here we are waiting around. The guy is standing there, I’m standing there and the cashier is standing there. Nothing happens so she calls for a price check again. We’re still standing there.

By now I’m thinking about how this reflects on the store. The guy would have bought it for $2.50 and the price came back at $3.99. So for $1.49 the company loses an opportunity to brighten some customers day. By not empowering the cashier to just sell it for $2.50 everyone was held up. And the opportunity to create a great customer experience was missed.

What Could Have Been

What if the cashier had been empowered to sell it for $2.50 or even just apologize for it not being in the system and throwing it in his bag and saying, “Have a nice day and next time you need groceries we hope you think of us”. How would that have made people feel? The cashier would feel great, the guy would feel great, and I and other shoppers would have felt good. An all-around positive human experience could have happened.

But alas, another moment to create a positive impression was wasted. How many of those are lost forever each day?

There are countless opportunities to make great impressions on clients and customers but so many are overlooked.

A Better and Unexpected Experience

A while back I was checking out of a “Big Box Grocery Store” when a similar situation occurred. The item wasn’t in the computer and I was standing there at the front of the store in the self-checkout area. Now what? Amazingly a supervisor who was off the clock no less, but talking with another co-worker still, came over, looked at the item and asked if $10 bucks would work. I said sure. Done. I’m happy to not be waiting for a price check. Customer cared for and life moves on.

Totally different feel. Granted not what I expected from that store but I totally appreciated it.

How can you empower your people to created better customer experiences?

Photo credit: Even grocery stores have opportunities to improve customer experience. Thanks, Scott Warman.

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Kama Wilson

Kama Wilson

Kama Wilson is a designer and impression strategist who is passionate about crafting transformations that allow people to fall in love with her clients' businesses.

Successful people do what everyone else won't dare to do. Don't wish it were easier; make yourself better.