Beaverton Business (Catalyst Newsletter): Grocery Store Aggravation

By Spencer Rubin

Recently, I popped into one of the national grocery store chain stores to shop. As I spent time in produce, inspecting and picking out apples, I had the joy of listening to 2 employees complaining about their manager…calling him names…and doing it loud enough to be heard on the International Space Station. They saw me, they knew I was there, they had to have known I heard it all. Not one greeting, not one nod, not one question asked if they could help me find anything. It was all about them, how awful their manager was, how much they hated their job!

Then, when I checked out, the checker and the bagger had a 1-on-1 conversation with each other…with nary an acknowledgement of my existence until it was time to ask me to hand over my hard-earned money!

Now, I left the store happy, because I am a happy person!! BUT, I also left the store pretty aggravated at the moment…as well as amazed…because it just never ceases to amaze me how much BLAH or awful, disengaged customer service exists in the world.

How hard would it have been for either set of disengaged, uncaring employees to have stopped their conversations for a minute or two to pay attention to a customer. A customer who works hard for his money, and that day chose their store to spend it at. I chose them that day. I gave them a precious gift: Patronage and Money!!


Back in October, my wife and I traveled to Bend for a business conference. Night 1, we met an old friend for dinner, and we went to Sunriver Brewing. They were crazy busy…but got us to a table pretty quickly. The young waiter who helped us was friendly, focused on his job, attentive, and helpful. He delivered us our beer, appetizers and dinner in a pretty darned quick period of time, considering how busy they were.

This “kid” was also very personable and fun to talk to as well. We left quite happy and satisfied.

Let’s focus on that for a minute. Every customer leaves your business, or your website, or a phone call to your business at some point.

How do you want them to leave? Like I left the grocery store? Feeling ignored and aggravated? Or like Sunriver Brewing? Happy, satisfied, and very willing to return as well as share the experience with friends?

You are in control Mr. & Mrs. Owner and/or Manager. How are you and your people engaging and treating the most important people in your lives? Yeah, I said it. Customers = The Most Important People In Your BUSINESS Lives!! They chose you! They chose to visit! To look! To Shop! To Try! They chose you! They chose to GIFT you with their hard-earned money…that can always be gifted to someone else who cares more than you or your people!

How much do you care? How much do you show it? How well are your people engaging your customers?

Are you constantly, feverishly, habitually training your people on customer service and being better at it than anyone else?

If you’re not…you should be!!

Be Great! Just Being Good, Kills Greatness!

Make It Easy For People To Do, And Keep Doing Business With You!

Look Up…And Surprise Someone!

Spencer Rubin is a sales/marketing expert who has spent 27 years in the industry. Spencer has become a passionate advocate for the success of small, local business owners. To sign up for Spencer’s weekly Catalyst Newsletter. Contact 971-732-4745.