Time for Convenience

Quote of the Day: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." – Matthew Broderick (from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).

Moving fast to serve an increasingly "convenience-oriented" consumer is critical for any place of business in 2005. As the marketplace for meal solutions welcomes more and more competition, Supermarket service departments would be well served to heed the wisdom in a paraphrase of today’s quote.

"Customers today move pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss them."

How do well-intentioned service people miss these customers? Here are a few of the "customer avoidance" methods I have observed in stores within the past few weeks:

  1. Task orientation versus customer focus. Or, to put it another way–making stuff instead of selling stuff.
  2. An inappropriate focus on convenience. Wrongly believing that my personal convenience is more important than that of the customer.
  3. "Off-stage" behaviors. Doing and saying things that irritate, offend or send would-be customers a message that reflects poorly on the place of business.
  4. "SAMENESS". Failing to provide anything new, different or interesting that will slow down or stop shoppers who are looking for something new, different or interesting.

As service people, we must remember that our offerings have to be refreshed, redefined and repositioned frequently. Business success is not an entitlement, it is earned by the consistent execution of smart tactics–tactics that will make us the most convenient, highest-value  provider of the goods/services/experiences we offer. In short…we must put the products/systems/training in place to ensure that we take the time necessary to be convenient.


Posted in: Customer Service

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