Before we leave the subject of service (see yesterday’s post), it’s worth mentioning the rather charming story of Johnny the Bagger. As part of the day job we keep a keen eye on which retailers are doing clever things with service, particularly in the current retail climate, and in our research we came across this story thanks to Al Wittemen at hubmagazine.com
Johnny is a bagger in a US grocery store, putting customers’ purchases in bags for them to take home with them. Johnny also has Down’s Syndrome but it didn’t stop him from wanting to do his bit, when the store encouraged its staff to ‘feel involved’ in coming up with good ideas to make their customers have a more interesting experience when they came to shop at the store.
After much thought, and help from his dad on the computer, Johnny decided to create a Thought for the Day each day, which involved printing and cutting up his daily thought and slipping one into each customer’s bag when he packed their shopping. Before long, the queue at Johnny’s check out was much longer than the one at any other cashiers, and despite the store manager trying to move customers into paying faster, they all wanted to hang around Johnny’s queue to pick up the Thought for the Day.
It transformed shopping at the store, people popped in more frequently just to get that day’s Thought. Through Johnny’s simple but devastatingly effective idea the store became a focal point for great service and accordingly rose to the challenge, staff became proud of their reputation and business boomed.
Really, it’s not so hard is it? Be nice to us customers and we’re more than likely to be nice back. Do something fabulous like Johnny and we’re very likely not only to return to shop again, but we’re going tell everyone we know about it too (particularly those of us who have been shopping for a long time). Retailers please take note