My respect for Walmart and their management actions just went down about 10 notches due to an inconsiderate, lazy, not-well-thought-out decision – which screamed as an absolute breach in customer service. This was not an accidental breach, but rather a purposeful, self-centerd decision on the part of the Walmart management.
The one great thing about this happenstance however is that it caused me to think about how we as chiropractors (and our staff) consider the immediate needs of our patients. I’m sure many chiropractic clinics have insulted their patients with similar breaches in customer service.
However the only difference is that Walmart should have known better being a multi-billion dollar organization which should have done loads of research on superior customer service practices – but they just didn’t care about the customer in this case!
As a busy chiropractor with a small staff you may not think about the needs of your patients in all aspects of customer service in the same respect as a large company such as Walmart, but you should!
We should learn from instances like this Walmart one – which is why I’m sharing it with you.
It’s 11:45pm Sunday night right now and I’m tired so I’ll get right to the point on this post.
Your dedication to providing top-notch customer service should:
1. Be well thought out
2. Consider the needs of the consumer
3. Cater to the majority vs. the minority
A few minutes ago I just left the Walmart located at 68th & Memorial in Tulsa, Oklahoma and figured that I should blog about my experience. I figured that it would be best to write while it’s fresh on my mind.
I’m sure you’re all aware that Walmart locks two sets of its doors after 9:00pm each night. They close the garden center and department store entry forcing customers to use the grocery store doors. I believe this makes sense – I would imagine that it saves on payroll as well as cuts down on potential theft and increases security.
The breach in customer service however lies in the fact that the management decided to only offer two open registers – however not on the same side of the store as the open entry/exit. This forced all customers to have to walk across the front of the store to get to an open register. Then after checking out the consumer had to walk back across the front of the store again in order to exit the store.
There were actually two registers opened side-by-side.
Out of curiosity I mentioned to the cashier (realizing that he probably wouldn’t have much to say about this situation), however he proved me wrong – and he was very honest. The cashier explained to me that you can only purchase tobacco products at register 23 (I believe it was 23) and that was the reason why he figured this to be the case.
So here’s the breach – according to the Center for Disease Control only 19% of American adults smoke. So for less than 20% of its’ potential customers the management at this Walmart decided to force the other 81% of its’ customers to walk across the store twice in order to buy groceries.
As opposed to opening one register close to the entry/exit and the other at register 23, they decided to do what they felt was most convenient for them versus the customer.
In your practice, how are you catering to your customers (i.e. your patients’) needs? Are you being purposeful in attempt to give them a pleasant, efficient, convenient experience each and every time they visit your practice? Do you care more about their convenience or yours? What messages are you sending to your patients?
My recommendation – learn from this Walmart’s thoughtlessness and breach in customer service and do what’s best for your patients.