I was out shopping with my wife and son at a large 3 floor retail outlet. We were looking to buy something for all three of us and as is normal, spent quite a bit of time at the store.
It was then that I felt thirsty. I approached an employee and the conversation that took place was something like this:
Me: I am feeling thirsty. Can you pls tell me where can I find some water?
Employee: Sir, you need to go to the 2nd floor. That is where you will find the water filter.
Me: Don’t you have any water available on this floor?
Employee: No sir. We only have one water filter and that is available on the 2nd floor.
Me: So, if you want to drink water, you also have to go to the 2nd floor?
Employee: Yes and No. We are required to carry a water bottle that we fill and keep with ourselves. But that is for our own use. For customers, the water is available at the water filter on the 2nd floor.
And I was on the Ground floor.
So, I went back to the 2nd floor, found the water filter tucked in a corner. I was a bit miffed at the fact that the store did not have a water filter available on each floor. It doesn’t cost much. But, then forgot about this all together.
Until the next time, I visited another retail store, similarly large.
This time, i was curious to find out if this retailer had water available at each floor. To my surprise (or maybe not so much of a surprise), I found that this retailer also had water available only at one of its floor.
I tried to check this at almost every large retailer in Bangalore and found the same to be true.
Now, the question that i have is the following:
Why cant a high end retailer doesn’t care about customer (and employee) comfort, when it comes to little things like this?
It doesn’t cost them much to have a water filter at every floor of the retailer.
Though it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue at a superficial level, but at a deeper level is a big issue. By not doing this small and not so important a thing, you are setting an example and telling your employees and customers that their comfort doesn’t matter.
This also sets a culture where employees are not keyed in to delight customers.
It is these small things that when done well, delight your customers.
These also set the ball rolling and sets a culture of thinking about the comfort of your customers at the centre of all your decisions.
This also tells your employees that the customer and his comfort matters, however small their request is.
So, what is your water filter problem? How do you plan to address it?