Understanding is the beginning

“Hello young lady” wouldn’t delight me, I must admit. But you are right about companies that look for shareholder value. It is very difficult for them to strive for long term success. But does this mean that their front line employees don’t care about customers?

The other day I was at HEMA, a Dutch non-food chain (although they are famous for sausages). At the cash desk I asked if the items could be gift wrapped. “No.” Was the direct reply, followed by: “It totalls to € 12,55.”, without even making eye contact. I replied: “Then we have a problem, because I need it wrapped. What solutions could you offer?” Luckely she had a colleague that could help her out. She sold me a separate gift box to put the items in. Problem solved. It is just that the first lady did not understand her job. She would probably describe it as “receive peoples’ money for bought items” in stead of “adding value to the buying process”.

Schermafbeelding 2013-10-08 om 18.13.31How different it is at my favorite Starbucks in De Meern: They know my name and my preferred coffee and always draw (per my request) a smiley on my cup. Last Friday one of them said: “You look like you really need the coffee today”. Was that a nice thing to say? For me it was. I had a very bad night sleep and I felt acknowledged that somebody noticed that. It is about understanding what your job is and creating a relationship!

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *