Improving Customer Service
Will Cut Company Costs
Loblaw Companies Ltd. chairman and CEO Galen G. Weston made the news recently, protesting a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour. Their empire includes stores like Save Easy, No Frills, Joe Fresh, Atlantic Superstore, Shoppers Drug Mart, and numerous other properties. He claims raising the wages will cost them an extra $190 million next year. Without a doubt, better management and staff training could help alleviate these costs.
I stopped into the Superstore with my daughter to pick up a few groceries. While there I thought I’d pick up some extra blades for my razor. Less expensive blades sandwiched between two Gillette packages prompted my daughter to exclaim they must be a generic brand. I could save a few dollars. Certainly a good idea, as the cost of Gillette blades borders on the ridiculous. We looked around to see if we could ask someone in the department to confirm that these were generic blades that would fit by shaver, but after a few minutes, we had to give up looking for help.
At home, I discovered that these new blades did not fit my razor, so a couple of days later I went back to the store. It was my idea to purchase the shaver that matched these blades. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to tell which shaver was the one I wanted and I wasn’t unable to find any help in the department again. I looked up the store number and called it on my cellphone. A woman answered. I told her where I was in the store and what I needed help with. She said she would send somebody. Nobody came.
After fifteen minutes of standing beside the rack, I made my way to the customer service desk. I explained to the woman that I needed help identifying what shaver matched the blades I bought, so she said she would call someone to help. I waited.
The woman behind the desk left and a few minutes later a different woman appeared. She asked me what she could help me with. So I told her about phoning the store while waiting beside the rack, and then about my arrival at the customer service desk, and how the previous woman said she would call someone for help. She was very polite. She apologized for my wait, and she would call someone to help me. I waited.
I received a text message from my daughter. She asked, “Dad where are you? You’ve been gone an hour. Did you forget about my doctor’s appointment?” She had broken her foot a couple of weeks earlier and was still unable to drive herself. I had promised to take her to the appointment. I turned to the woman behind the desk and asked her if she would mind refunding the money for the blades since she was unable to find me any help.
The Superstore lost a potential sale and refunded money from a previous purchase. When considering the amount of stores owned by Loblaws and the thousands of times they are losing sales on a daily basis, it isn’t hard to believe that raising the minimum wage could cost them $190 million next year. However, by raising the wages, hiring a few more people, and prioritizing the customer experience, it could really go a long way in helping them recoup this cost.
Image by Wt90401 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0