Two Businesses, Same Town, Vastly Different Customer Experiences

How does one business understand customer service from the ground up, making it easy and almost fun to shop at a hardware store, where the other store seems to regard customers as people they unfortunately have to put up with?

If you’re like me, you value a good customer experience, but the question is, how many of those are you getting anymore?

I shopped at our local hardware store yesterday (yes, we still have a locally owned hardware store.) Upon walking in the store, I was greeted by the 18-something-year-old man at the front and at least two other employees elsewhere in the store who asked me if I needed help finding anything. I love shopping at this store.

Then this morning, I stopped at one of the maybe three grocery stores at which I shop in town. This particular grocery store is locally owned but the experience is vastly different. No one talks to you. Not a single employee greets you, says hello, asks if you need anything. The checkout people are huffy and generally, aren’t very happy. I visit this store because it gets the job done in that it has what I need and I can get in and out quickly. But other than that, I’m not only just a number, I’m basically invisible.

This morning, as I’m leaving the store, I see a younger staffer walking in for the day. I look up at him and nod, acknowledging his presence as I push my cart by. What does he do? He ignores me, then keeps walking and says hello to his co-worker.

How do things get this way? How does one business understand customer service from the ground up, making it easy and almost fun to shop at a hardware store, where the other store seems to regard customers as people they unfortunately have to put up with?

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