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Don’t Let Ego Ruin Good Customer Service

I entered our local grocery store at 5pm on Friday to purchase beer for a post-work celebration. The liquor department had a number of people selecting items, but the lone cashier only had three people in line. Already knowing what I wanted, I grabbed my 4-pack quickly and made my way to the counter.

There are odd moments when the planets align to form an unusual phenomenon that isn’t always in your favor.

Everyone had descended upon the lone cashier and I suddenly found myself tenth in line with the remaining customers stretched down the aisle behind me and around the corner. At first, I felt sorry for the cashier. Her managers had left her alone to handle the liquor department on one of the busiest nights of the week.  My sympathy quickly turned to confusion as I waited for her to call for assistance. Especially, after a handful of potential customers had already come in, seen the line, and left.

Eventually, one potential customer commented on the line from the doorway. I suggested jokingly (not really) that she should tell the service desk to send help.  Eventually, the door greeter appeared. The conversation that followed blew me away:

Greeter: Where is the other cashier?

Cashier: He’s on break. But he should be back in about 15 minutes.

Greeter: Should I send help?

Cashier: No, I got this.

My jaw dropped.  The line was all the way to the farthest cooler now and she claimed ‘I got this’? My marketing brain is screaming “No lady, you don’t ‘got this’!” And I’m only the fourth in line now. More people walk in, comment on the line, and walk out. I counted 14 total potential customers although I’m guessing more just looked in and walked away.

Had the cashier made the effort to reduce the wait time of existing customers by calling for backup, she would have sent a message to potential customers that she was doing everything in her power to take care of their needs. And don’t be fooled, the needs of the client are beyond the actual product, in this case alcohol. In this situation, the invisible need included a time element. Otherwise, potential customers would have submitted themselves to waiting in the long line instead of walking away.

Take a moment to evaluate your moment of ‘I got this’ when it comes to marketing your company. Pagesculptor Studios can help develop marketing strategies and promotional materials that will effectively reach your target market. Contact us today.