Does your passion extend to your employees? Are the things that drive you to success in business shared by the people who cash your paychecks? How do you make sure of that?
This morning I was shopping at the local grocery store which is a semi-local chain and attempted to use my ApplePay. Lately their terminals haven’t been working right and won’t accept this payment method and it’s frustrating as this has been a principal reason that I choose to shop here. So the alternative is that I have to take out my credit card, sit there with it exposed to everyone else in line while it hangs out of the terminal wasting my time.
I know. First world problems.
But since I’ve invested in smart payment technology I tend to go to places that support my nerdy ways. But that’s not even the point. And, yes, it’s significantly more secure than having your credit or debit card exposed while you wait for it get approved.
I notified the assistant manager, who happened to be the guy who was also checking out my sale, and you could just tell that he didn’t care at all. I told him that that was a reason I specifically chose this store over the competition, a large grocery chain, and that they had also recently adopted smart payment.
Didn’t care. It was clear.
He was completely disinterested in how I told him that one of the key reasons I shopped at his store, over the competition, was now no longer a competitive advantage of theirs.
So I could go to the competition. Where their prices are lower and their selection is greater. But their lines are longer and their parking is less convenient. And I place a huge value on my own time. Which is also why I like this type of payment method.
To a lot of employees the misperception is that their paycheck comes from the company that employs them. Of course that’s whose name is on the top and the signature on the bottom likely is the boss’s signature. To people who don’t understand how business works, the paycheck comes from the company.
But it really doesn’t.
The company would have no money to make that paycheck good if there weren’t customers. And, more and more, there aren’t enough to keep those paychecks coming. Competition from web-based retailers is a challenge to local retailers as are the people down the street or in the next town.
And then you have employees who just exude an attitude of not caring and that, too, drives customers elsewhere. For example, did you know I can get most of my groceries on line nowadays? I can shop in the local stores for fresh products and just get the packaged goods by fidgeting with my phone.
In fact I actually used to get all my groceries from a company called Home Grocer before the “dot com” bust and it was terrific. I didn’t have to go to the grocery store and they remembered all my favorite items.
So if I do that and enough others do, where is that attitude going to get you now, Mr. Assistant Store Manager who doesn’t care and will be looking for a new job?
True, my rant is based on my being a total nerd and being probably waaaaaay outside the norm of what most normal people want. I realize that. But what if, what I wanted, was rutebagas or sandwich thins or whatever else the store normally offered but happened to be out of?
That attitude might make me also go to the competing store where they actually have it in stock. And then I see the better selection and lower pricing and just ignore the lousy parking and long lines.
The bottom line is that whomever is “at the top” of the food chain (pun intended) in any business also has a job to do of imparting that the paycheck that the team so enjoys really comes from those annoying customers that come through the operation.
And perhaps that customer might just be looking for one more reason to shop elsewhere anyway. You never know.
I’m not a “the customer is always right guy” because I’ve dealt with the public and there are people whom you wonder how they figured out how to get their pants on in the morning. But the customer does deserve a chance to tell you how to make things more to their liking.