Friday, May 13, 2005

Customer Experience Extends Beyond the Sale

I know what you thinking about the title: No kidding. Basic marketing.

So why does it seem that more and more retailers are forgetting that my entire experience, including leaving the store, is wrapped up in whether I return and continue being a customer.

I got to thinking about this because I have to go Home Depot at lunch. The Home Depot near my office has a guard at the exit who wants to check receipts on the way out. Ugh, it is one the most annoying and insulting processes to force customers through. I do not steal. Why would you assume that because I visited your cashier and am leaving with a bag that I stole? Wouldn't it make more sense to check everyone who has not visited a cashier? Not only does it take time--there is usually a line of people--but what does it serve. I'm walking from the cash register to the door, when did I have a chance to steal?

I've been told that they are really checking up on the cashiers. That means they assume their cashiers are incompetent or dishonest. Maybe; but either way its not my problem, so why am I forced to suffer.

Personally, I don't suffer any more. I shop at Lowes, which in my opinion is beating Home Depot on every front (except there is not one near my office). And, when I am forced to go to this Home Depot, I typically ignore the guard, safe in my cocoon of honesty--after all I know I paid for my products.