Navigator Newsletter #134
PERSONAL NOTE FROM THE CAPTAIN
Thanks to all of you who asked about the weather
here in Atlanta this past weekend. In all the years
I have lived in Atlanta this was the scariest I have
seen it. On Saturday I was standing in my driveway
looking at rotating clouds thinking a tornado was
heading for us. Fortunately, it passed over and missed us.
Spelling/grammar errors: Jan is out this week, so I
had to edit my newsletter. So, there is bound to be
errors. I know many of our Navigators LOVE to find
those little mistakes. I really appreciate it and ask
“forgiveness” in advance.
Also, take two minutes and tell us what your favorite
grocery store is. See survey below.
BEANS, BACON, BOLOGNA, AND BEAUTY PRODUCTS:
America’s Favorite Retailers Have One Thing In Common – Great Service
One of the first jobs I held was with K-Mart. Back then
K-mart was one of the top retailers in the country. I was
proud of the fact that of all the sales people working
at our store, I generated more sales than any other
My success was based on one reason. I was good
at announcing “Blue Light Specials.” Most people
reading this probably don’t know what a Blue Light
Special is, but when I made my announcements
shoppers came running to my department with money
in their hand. I don’t want to say how many years ago
that was, but that was a long time ago. Wow, have
things changed since then. Now K-mart is at the bottom
of the list.
In May of 2007, the Quality Digest completed a customer
satisfaction survey of the best and worst retailers as
ranked by consumers.
Whole Foods Market
Barnes and Noble
Bath and Body Works
Dick’s Sporting Goods
In addition to ranking the best and worst retailers, the
survey analyzed the primary reason shoppers choose
one retailer over the other. As a business consultant
who specializes in hiring, service, and employee
retention, I consider this is the most important aspect
of the survey.
Consumer trends and brands change rapidly.
What is popular today soon becomes ancient history
tomorrow. However, there are two factors that consistently
build customer loyalty no matter what business you are in.
Which is more important–the price of the product, or the
shopping experience? Quality Digest asked people to
choose between two factors that would cause them to
recommend a store to others. The first factor was “value”
which equates to the feeling they “got their money’s worth.”
The other factor was the “shopping experience” which
included a gamut of elements such as friendliness and
helpfulness of employees, checkout lines, cleanliness,
and location of the product.
Front Line Employees Provide the Key to High Customer
In the end, the number one reason people choose a
retailer was the “shopping experience.” The survey
further showed the major contributor to the shopping
experience was “employee helpfulness.” Value and price
is important, but in this survey as well as others, the
number one reason shoppers come back over and over
again is the shopping experience.
Hiring good employees and then training them on good
customer service skills remains the driving force of either
creating a positive or negative experience.
Trader Joe’s is a different kind of grocery store that provides
both value and a pleasing shopping experience. Listed #2
on the list, these stores are growing rapidly in popularity.
One interesting customer service technique one store
employs is the Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer. This unique
marketing flyer generated an additional $40,000 of
business during one weekend.
You can go to my blog and see the Trader Joe’s video
discussing the flyer.
Service First Videos
Need a good frontline customer service training program?
We are in the process of revamping and reshooting our
videos. Once the new videos are completed, the price
will increase by $400. You can wait and order the new
program later or take advantage of the current price.
Go to this page to see samples of the videos:
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK
YOUR FAVORITE GROCERY STORE
On May 4, I am conducting a workshop on customer
service for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) in Las
Vegas. FMI is the largest association of grocery stores
and supermarkets in the world. You can help me by
taking two minutes and answering three questions on
our online survey. Here are the three questions:
1) When choosing a grocery store, which ONE of the
three factors is MOST important?
2) Name your favorite grocery store
3) What frustrates you most about grocery stores?
Go here to take the two-minute survey:
At Key Bank, they start a parade each month gathering
employees in a line, going to a surprise destination.
Once there, they recognize anniversaries, birthdays,
achievements, promos, and introduce new hires.
During the monthly event they hold random drawings
for prizes and gifts. They also recognize star employees
that demonstrate the bank’s values such as teamwork,
respect, accountability, integrity, or leadership.
Source: 401 Proven Ways to Retain Your Best Employees
TAKE THE NEXT STEP – BECOME A VOYAGEUR
If you have enjoyed my Navigator Newsletter, website, lessons,
and articles, then you will benefit from my special
member’s only Voyageur Business Coaching Program.
HIRE AND PROMOTE THE RIGHT PERSON
FOR THE RIGHT JOB
Visit our website to see the latest in hiring and development
reports and assessments. We have over 25 different
kinds of reports for almost every industry. We also
provide a personalized selection service for those
companies who need an in-depth analysis of job
PLANNING A MEETING, LOOKING FOR A SPEAKER?
Keep us in mind if you need a speaker, trainer, or facilitator
for an upcoming meeting or conference. In additional to
Greg, we have several other outstanding individuals at
different fee ranges. Contact Jan King for further information.
UPCOMING SPEAKING SCHEDULE
March 29 – Propane Gas Association – Atlanta
May 4-5 – Food Marketing Institute – Las Vegas
May 22 – Municipal Clerks Association – Atlanta
May 27 – Pizza Delight Corporation – New Brunswick, CA
May 21-23 – Society of Human Resource Managers
Annual Conference — Chicago
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends
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Copyright 2008, CYC International
This publication and the Navigator Newsletter
is provided by Chart Your Course International.
Published by Greg Smith
Chart Your Course International Inc.
Address: 2814 Hwy 212, Conyers, GA. 30094
Sign-up for Greg’s Navigator Newsletter by visiting