Imagine this. You’re in line at the grocery store. The place is really busy. You wonder why they don’t open a couple more checkout counters.

Finally, someone shows up at the register next to where you are obediently waiting (I purposely do not write patiently waiting) and announces, “I’ll take fullest cart over here.”  Huh? You’ve been waiting for 15 minutes to pay for milk. One item. Cash. Pay and go. Quick. What’s with the “fullest cart” bit?

Crazy? Why? It makes perfect sense that the store would prioritize service by giving preference to those who are spending the most money, doesn’t it?

You could go grab more stuff and improve your position in line.

Absurd you say?

Well, due to my business I happen to have a substantial long distance bill. [Stay on point please. No, I don’t want to do business screaming over a cell phone or constantly repeating “can you hear me?” No, I think VoIP stinks. Pay attention, this isn’t about phone technology]  So when I call AT&T, Wells Fargo, the cable company, or just about any other business including the local dog groomer I get a voice telling me how valued I am but that they are busy servicing other customers.

I have been trying for 6 months to get through to MAYTAG about my recalled, expensive, dishwasher but apparently there are still 1.2 million people more important than me because they are always helping “other” customers and I should try again when their call volume isn’t as high.

This isn’t a rant.

This post is the single most valuable business tip I can give any business.

Make your customer service not stink and you will be so much better than your competitors that your business will go through the roof.

Here’s the funny part. Not a single person in a position at their business to make that simple change, will. Not one.

It gets funnier. Ask anyone if they would give preference to the business with the better service and 99 & 44/100’s percent of the time, they will answer YES. 

So nearly all customers for anything agree that they prefer to spend money with a company that provides even crappy service if it’s at least better than the other companies. Still, not one will make a small investment to improve service.

So why then is my grocery store example the least bit outlandish?

Chris Reich  (530) 467-5690