Thursday, January 31, 2008

Retail Rule #1 - Know thy Customer!

They say in the retail business it's important to know your customer... If this is true then Wal-Mart apparently doesn't know its customer AT ALL! I mean, come on... Self check-out stands at Wal-Mart?
Watching Wal-Mart's average customer tonight try to run a register was like watching a baby take its first steps on an escalator. What the hell?

Either Wal-Mart believes anyone can run a register or they really need to take another look at their customers! You'd think these people would be more indignant about being what basically amounts to as "unpaid help" too, but noooo... Like drunks at the carnival eager to win their girl a prize they step right up. And, just like the weighted milk jug that barely wobbles against the breeze of the whiffle ball thrown at full strength, the register out-smarts them every time.

And, what of the poor woman stationed at the control podium... Doesn't she realize she's being paid one salary to do the job of FOUR cashiers? Sure seems unfair to me given how fast she was running back and forth and sideways to clear error codes caused by customers clearly out of their depth.

It's very frustrating for a customer like me who, under normal circumstances would be shouting, "Off with their heads!" at the first hint of this kind of performance slowing me down; but it's not like I can complain at all, since these are basically unqualified volunteers.

Hey, Wal-Mart! Just because someone can shop doesn't mean they're qualified to navigate the mechanics necessary to complete the transaction. And, here's another dirty little secret for you - some of your customers use up all the brain-power they have just picking out what they want to buy - so putting a register between them and the door is just asking for trouble!

The only thing more horrifying than what I saw tonight would be if these people were actually required to do the math!

As I waited (and waited) I realized that Target doesn't have these self check-outs. Is that because they know their customer, or because they prefer to do all the heavy lifting for them?

Just an observation!

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