Okay, it’s not a proud moment when you say you’ve shopped at Walmart. Where I am, though, it’s a compromise I make when needing a few items without driving too far – it’s 5 minutes from here. This morning I was there doing a quick shopping visit and upon checkout, the keypad first asked me, “Was your cashier friendly?” Well, as a matter of fact she didn’t even say hello and didn’t acknowledge me whatsoever; I actually tried to catch her eye several times before answering…no luck. She was friendly with the customer ahead of me, but as I set my items on the conveyor belt and kept glancing her way, it was obvious I was not going to get to take part in her “jovial” disposition. (Okay, that was a swipe, I’m sorry.)
Oh, back to the keypad. I found it funny that this question is posed ahead of you actually paying. To me, it seems they are really after that first impression and second impression be doomed! If she actually engaged me in some chit chat and gave me the customary, “Did you find everything you needed?”, I might not have answered the way I did, which was, “No.” In fact, it worked out because she exhibited the same dismal service from start to finish. Exactly 10 words did she spare me. “Is that it?” “Here’s your receipt. Have a good day.” Right. Well at least she didn’t dampen my mood.
I wonder what the higher-ups at Walmart do with that data and if they come down on an employee if they have a bunch of “No” responses during the course of a day? My other question is why don’t they have these throughout the store? The deli counter person was even worse, but I had no keypad to ask me my opinion of her service. What if I was still fuming over her and misplaced my frustration with the cashier? (Not the case, but what if?) If you’re going to talk about customer service and act like you are tracking it, track it everywhere and be diligent about how you follow through. Put customer service cards throughout your store and encourage customers to honestly give you feedback. When you have this information, it’s like gold; it tells you where you can improve and lets you inside your customer’s head. Once there, you will find out exactly how to make them want to come and shop again there.
I’m skipping Walmart next time and driving the extra few minutes to another store. I’ll hold onto their name, because I might have to blog about my experience there, good or bad.