This Is Service?

Everyone knows a dissatisfied customer will tell many more people about a bad experience than a satisfied customer will tell about a good experience. This isn’t news—but these days anyone with an Internet connection can also complain to the world at large. Two recent experiences have inspired me again to discuss the importance of service. The first—at our local Acme supermarket (now owned by Albertson’s) was frustrating, but humorous. Having only a few items, I headed for the self-service checkout. Normally it’s quick and fun to use the scanner and scale. I ran the first few items through without problem, until the machine wouldn’t read the bar code on a bottle of Windex. It did finally beep its acceptance (or so I thought), so I put the Windex in the bag. The machine promptly announced there was an unauthorized item in the bagging area. (“Thief in checkout aisle one!”)

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