Saturday, March 31, 2012

What Ever Happened to ... Customer Service?

I do all my grocery shopping - all of it - at the same store. It is called Fareway and is a relatively small chain of stores in Iowa started in the mid 1950s.

Fareway is known for having outstanding customer service. They ALWAYS carry your groceries to your car and if you cannot find something, they will walk with you to the place in the store where the item is located and make sure you actually find it.

There are two much larger supermarket chains where I live. Not only can you buy groceries in these super stores but you can do your banking, go to a pharmacy, mail your letters, pay your utility bills, eat at a deli, pick up your dry cleaning, rent a movie, buy flowers and all sorts of things in addition to buying grociers.

We also have Walmart and Target in my community and both of those mega stores sell groceries. Both of these chains provide very stiff competition for the regional grocery stores.

Unlike the bigger chains or the national discount stores, Fareway has a full service meat counter. You tell a person that you want 2 pounds of 93% hamburger and he wraps it up for you. Or if you want two marinated chicken breasts, he selects two and wraps them up. Or if you have a question about how to prepare a boneless roast, he can answer your questions.

Fareway stores are still closed on Sundays and holidays. It focuses on selling a line of popular grocery items. You can find three or four different brands of ketshup but you will not find 9 varieties. It sells food and sells it for less than the other stores. But above all, it has outstanding customer service.

My guess is that most communities have smaller stores that emphasize customer service and quality products. It seems that no matter how much people talk about customer service and want it, so many people still opt for huge selections and cut rate prices.

I am seeing more and more retail stores going to self service check outs. I am sure with the use of debit cards and scanners people have become used to using these self service check outs. After all, we have to pump our own gas any more don't we? (Though I believe in Oregon you are not allowed to pump your own gas at a retail store.)

There is an old adage that people vote with their pocket books or something like that. I only hope stores that provide outstanding customer service will survive in the years ahead.

I like quality customer service and am willing to pay to receive it.

1 comment:

Hilary said...

It sounds like the ideal place to shop.. like not much has changed since its early days. I like that. I'm glad your loyalty is with them.