The Value of Understanding Your Customer - Manitoba Customer Contact Association

The Value of Understanding Your Customer

By Susan Simcic 
Celero - Manager, Technical Support & Communications 
MCCA - Vice Chair, Board of Directors    

I have not enjoyed grocery shopping for some time now. My mother doesn’t drive; now that she has gotten older, I take her for her groceries each week. When I try to get mine at the same time, I often miss things on my list because I am focused on her needs. While I love spending time with my mother, I would prefer going for lunch or coffee with her rather than help her shop. I have recently discovered online shopping for groceries. I place my order online and I pick it up at a later time. What a wonderful service! Now I can focus on my mom when we go as I already have everything I need.

One day, I went to the store to pick up my order, which included fresh dill. A very nice young man brought my groceries to my car. As he was loading my car, I saw the dill. I mentioned that it smells like dill but it certainly didn’t look like it. He took the dill and ran back into the store. Shortly afterward, he brought out another package, very similar to the first. I explained that it is not what I wanted. I showed him the picture on my phone of what dill I thought I was getting. He said “oh, that dill”. Back into the store he went to get me a different package.

When he came back without my dill, he told me they were out. He said what they had given me was dill for pickling and apologized for not having the right dill. I’ve never pickled anything in my life. As soon as he said it, I recalled that the website did say “dill for pickling”. Right there, I knew that I had ordered the wrong thing. He also knew I had ordered the wrong thing. He never said anything to make me feel silly for not knowing the difference.

To me, great customer service is understanding that your customers, while not always right, are always your customers. It is important to make them feel valued. What more can you ask for?  

Well, I could ask for them to deliver it to my door, clean out my fridge and put everything away but I guess you can’t have everything.