While having my bad experience in the bookstore two days ago, I spotted a travel book that looked interesting but that I decided to take a pass on. Once I got home, I realized that the book would have been a welcome addition to my travel library and I decided I should go ahead and buy it. This called for a return to the scene of the crime.
So yesterday I stopped back at the bookstore while I was out running some errands. The plan was to run in, grab the book and be on my way.
The store was quiet when I went in. I found the book quickly and headed towards the registers. Just like the day before, I was greeted by great spring weather framed by the front windows and two cashiers having a friendly conversation. Luckily my cashier from the day before was not one of them.
As I approached the “Wait here” sign, one of the cashiers called out.
“I can help you right here.” I thought to myself that today is clearly starting off better than my previous experience I thought.
“Good afternoon,” the smiling cashier said.
“Good afternoon to you,” I responded, “how is your day going?”
“Just fantastic, thanks for asking. Looks like you are heading out on a trip?”
“We are heading to France in September for our 10th anniversary.”
“That’s wonderful. Is it a surprised?” the cashier asked as she scanned the book and quickly totaled the sale.
“No, not a surprise. We’ve traveled there before and like to plan trips together,” I responded. With no one waiting in line, the cashier made no attempt to cut short our conversation and rush the transaction.
“That sounds romantic. Your total today is $13.99.” I handed her a twenty.
“Out of twenty.” Keying in the amount tendered, she called out,”Your change today is $6.01.” Next she counted out my change starting with the coin first.
As I placed the change in my wallet, she continued, “Would you like a bag today?”
“No thank you.”
Handing me the book, she offered, “Bon voyage.”
“Merci beaucoup. Bonjour,” I responded as I headed for the door with a smile on my face and a chuckle from the cashier.
When I was a manager, I would have been very pleased if all the transactions in my store went this way: quick, professional and friendly. The cashier did a great job based on the traffic in the store and how I responded as a customer.
This interaction made a huge step in service recovery from my experience just the day before.
The opportunity for the store’s management would be to offer more consistent experiences in their store using this interaction as the standard.