« If only it had... a progress indicator. | Main | So what's next? »

April 08, 2006


Christopher grove

Hi Jon,
great post! I read a book a while ago about an Irishman who's got a small chain of supermarkets in Ireland. He differentiates his chain from others by working on the customer service experience. He suggests that if you want to see how good the service your business gives to its customers, you should pass yourself off as a customer and go through the experience yourself. That means doing it incognito (of course). So he would go and shop anonymously in one of his supermarkets from time to time, and he encouraged various members of his staff to do the same thing. You have to make sure that you're treated as a real customer, and not just as one of the bosses/managers/employees who should get preferential treatment, but if you can manage that, then you'll get a pretty good idea of a customer experience. Personally I can't think of a better way of getting that information.

Jon Strande


Thank you - and yeah, NOTHING beats first hand knowledge, experiencing it for yourself. What a great story/idea! Thank you for sharing!


Peter Begley

It has been a while since I've been in a Home Depot, but from what I remember I've never been that impressed with the company. The times that I've shopped there, invariably I have a question or two about the location of an item. However, when attempting to flag down one of the fifteen orange apron laden employees for 10 minutes (they always seem to be helping someone else...) I've had almost no success in getting a definitive answer to my questions. More often than not, I found it more efficient to wander the store searching on my own.

The trust issue is interesting, especially in relation to the survey. Thanks for the thoughtful post -- I'll be sure to check in here regularly.


Jon Strande


Thank you for the great comment. Yeah, if you think about the shopping experience at Home Depot, the people with the orange aprons are like the "search" functionality. You ask them something, they tell you where to find it (hopefully). Not being able to find an employee or them not having an answer is like google being offline or not returning any results...


Arnie McKinnis

Great entry - I just want to state that (IMHO) "brands" grown organically - not manufactured. Despite our best efforts to "change" consumers minds, they really are smart enough to determine when a slogan is real versus make believe. And trust is a major component in that cycle.

Arnie McKinnis

One more comment....

I was in a TMobile store the other day trying to figure out my bill. I have a family plan and wanted to know where if there was a place on the bill showing my "rolled up" minutes for the various phone numbers (they are presented in detail separately). It was a simple "Yes, and here it is" or "No, there isn't". The person "helping" me kept showing me the totals for each phone number - and I kept asking the same questions - getting the same response. Finally, I stopped him and said it was a simple YES or NO questions - which is it. He replied NO (and answer) finally after starting to get a little frustrated with me. Once again, customer service is not only being able to provide AN ANSWER, it's also about answering the questions asked.

Jon Strande


Two great comments! Thank you!

I love the ending of the second comment: "it's also about answering the quetsions asked", how true!!


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Change Congress

  • Change Congress
    Change Congress

January 2009

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31