Mindless Questions Won’t WOW

In an effort to improve the shopping experience, store 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”?

I recently visited a local specialty store to pick up a couple of items. One of the items was out of stock (again). As I approached the checkout, the associate asked “Did you find everything you needed? I politely responded “No I didn’t. The item I was looking for was out of stock – again.” The associate didn’t know what to do or say. It became obvious that the question was something associates were taught to say as part of the check-out experience but when faced with a response other than ‘yes’, they didn’t know what to say or do next. In my case, the associate response was, “Oh, I’m sorry” and then she kept right on scanning the remaining items to complete the check-out.

Creating a positive customer experience is more than having your associates mindlessly ask questions or say things because they have been ‘trained’ to do so. They also need to be empowered to act on the customer’s response or input. If they can’t, then they are better off not asking mindless questions.

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