Customer service is what I evaluate in my mystery shopping business, so when I shop for personal reasons, I am observing the good, the bad, and the ugly levels of service that I experience. It’s an occupational hazard.
What I saw the other day made me realize how important it is to constantly be aware of what’s happening in your organizational environment, especially at the checkout area where customers are the most vulnerable. Let’s face it – when we have our wallets and debit cards exposed, we all fear hearing the total of what we owe!
Here’s what happened: I was in line at a hardware store waiting behind three people who were in the queue ahead of me. Very quickly, three more people were added to the line behind me. My arms were full of items since I decided to forego a cart when I entered the store. I thought I was going to be in and out quickly, having only a few items to purchase. But as I walked around the store, I fell victim to the many sales and end-cap items that I thought I needed. Buyer’s remorse, merchant’s delight!
Anyway, back to the checkout line. As I got closer to the register, I realized why it was taking forever for each transaction to be completed. The cashier was promoting the new loyalty card that this big box hardware store is rolling out. The problem is that this card requires an explanation, with most people thinking it’s a credit card. It was adding anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes to each transaction. This can be an eternity for customers in line who were thinking they would be in and out of the store quickly.
What happened next surprised and concerned me. The customer behind me was in an even bigger rush than I was. When she realized that the cashier was focused on getting people signed up for this card and not getting people quickly through the line or calling for a backup cashier, she whipped out her smartphone and pulled up her Facebook app and began posting about her experience. She didn’t wait until she got home. She didn’t wait to cool down. She was angry and she wanted all of her friends to know it.
The experience I had and what I witnessed the customer behind me do with her smartphone makes it more important than ever to monitor what’s happening in your organization and how your customers feel about it. Mystery shopping is an excellent way to accomplish this. If you’re not monitoring it, trust me, people on Facebook are!
How are you monitoring customer satisfaction levels in your organization?
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