There is a Target and a Walmart in my neighborhood. Prices are pretty similar – Walmart is probably cheaper. Why then, do I continuously find myself at Target for various and sundry items?
In short, Target “gets” the concept of customer service. Whenever I need to find something, there is a clerk within sight. Instead of saying they don’t know where the item is or, just as bad, pointing and grunting in a general direction, often times the employee will walk me right to the correct aisle and help me search. Occasionally a clerk will even look up when I walk by and ask if there is anything I need. Furthermore, whenever the checkout line becomes long, there is an immediate reaction, with a clerk rushing to open a new cash register. Lastly, their employees are always well-groomed and have a sunny disposition.
My weekly visits probably only average $30-40 in sales. However, adding that up over my lifetime, you can imagine how much my business is worth. Furthermore, I tell other people – this blog is an example. In short, even if the prices are not always the very best, the feeling I get from their employees keeps me coming back again and again.
I don’t know if Target uses a mystery shopping service to help them assess customer service skills. My guess is that they do recognize the value of good customer experiences and have some way of measuring it, then implementing by training to effectuate it. I only wish there were more stores nearby that I thought really understand the return on investment of great customer service. Mystery shopping and follow-up training are good ways to ensure that ongoing terrific shopping experience!