Doing something little to make a difference.

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I was grocery shopping at a Randalls store earlier this evening and took my cart full of groceries to check out at the front of the store.

There were only a couple of “lanes” open, but as I was waiting in line at one lane, the cashier from another lane who had just finished with another customer offered to help me check out. He then politely offered to help move my groceries over to his lane and began to check me out. It was a little thing that made me think pretty highly of the customer service at that particular store.

While the above example was by no means a grand gesture, but it was unexpected and pleasantly surprising. Companies in industries that aren’t known for particularly great customer service (like Randalls in the grocery industry have an advantage because they can usually be better than everyone else by just being okay.

In this case, the cashier that helped me was better than a majority of cashiers who would close their registers and go take a break as soon as the number of customers in their line went down to zero. He cared and wanted to help, so he did just that.

Encouraging employees to do little things of that nature is extremely important. It is cultural as much as its operational. Having a policy or training in place that encourages employees to help out customers in subtle ways is important and it’ll almost certainly make a difference.

Having employees that are willing to go that extra 100 feet (not even a mile) can make a huge difference in the customer service experience. It’s your responsibility as manager to encourage and reward them to go that extra 100, 500, or even 5280 feet whenever they can.

3 Responses to “Doing something little to make a difference.”

  1. Service Untitled » Act with urgency. - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Jul 10, 08 at 10:31 pm

    […] like doing little things, acting with urgency is just as much a cultural aspect of a company as it is an operational […]

  2. chad said:

    Jul 16, 08 at 4:11 pm

    I spent a lot of time in grocery. Well, 3 years. However, I am always unimpressed with the response of not only workers, but customers. I personally believe it was that cashiers’ duty to do what he/she did. Though I am fairly laid back about people’s approaches to service (because I usually just dont care, and dont get ruffled by mediocre service), I think consumers should never be impressed with service that companies should expect. I don’t blame the wage slave because I understand them. But too many companies don’t attempt to instill good service values. I’ve been in the meetings – the status quo expectations are annoying.

  3. Service Untitled said:

    Jul 16, 08 at 8:43 pm


    Yes. Companies that stick at the status quo and don’t want to go beyond that are the worst. They tend to just stay at the status quo and never go beyond that, which can be frustrating.