Mindless Questions

In an effort to bring more customer focus to the shopping experience, check out associates frequently ask you “Did you find everything you needed?”.   Most of the time, we are busy thinking about the next thing we need to get done and just say yes.  Have you ever responded no?  This occurred last week when the associate asked me the question and I responded “Actually,  I didn’t.  The deli counter was out of Boars Head Smoked Chicken Breast”.  The associate didn’t know what to do or say.  It became obvious that the question was something they were taught to do as part of the check-out experience but when faced with a response other than ‘yes’, they were clueless about what to do next.  In my case, the associate said, “oh, I’m sorry” and kept right on scanning the items to complete the check-out.

The point of this example is that creating a positive customer experience is more than having your associates mindlessly say or do things that give an impression of seeking customer satisfaction.   They need to be able to act on the customer’s input.  If they can’t, they are better off not asking for it.

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