Saturday, August 4, 2012

A whole range of service issues

I'm pleased that this isn't a rant. More a reflection of curiosity.

This morning after my boy's football I happened to browse to a "pick a number" style deli counter in the Newton Shopping centre. I didn't take a number because I wasn't planning to buy.

But I saw something I liked the look of. As a young lad came over to me and asked if I wanted something I repleid "well I wasn't planning to buy, but I think I'll take that rolled pork shoulder roast in your display".

It all seemed fine until the person who must be the boss lady corrected the young guy, telling him how he should be calling out numbers, not just randomly serving people. She checked with me and after we confirmed that I didn't have a number, the next lady in line was duly served. But boss lady didn't offer to help me with my purchase.

No biggie. I just left, we didn't get the pork roast. Plenty of food in our fridge.

What a pickle. Boss lady was certainly correct in making sure the system was used. Customers like to see fairness, and they like to see the system work properly. And I truly was being a "daydreamy" customer but I'm allowed to be. I'm also allowed to make - or not make - impulse purchases.

I don't know how it could have been managed better at the time. I think boss lady did the right thing. But in that case they missed the chance for me to become a customer of theirs.

I suppose it simply illustrates the importance of the three "Service Ps" of the extended marketing mix. People, Processses and Physical Evidence. All done before things go wrong.

I suppose boss lady could have done some service recovery - fixing things when they do go wrong. Maybe she did. Perhaps it was a sensible move to toss my little $12 order to make sure the system worked to plan.

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