Walmart just made a major announcement. Apparently, the company has decided to move more employees from the back of the store to the front. The reason, they want to task these employees with greeting customers and answering questions. A Walmart greeter? Imagine that, what a cutting edge concept. Yes, once again, customer service is a consideration with America’s largest retailer.
Dual Purpose of Walmart Greeters
Of course, these “greeters” will serve a dual purpose. As shoplifting is escalating at Walmart, store managers are looking for ways to slow the practice without disrupting other shoppers. One way? Checking receipts. So that smiling face you see on your way into the store will be a stern face checking your purchases on the way out. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s better than just implementing the checks without the smiling face to begin the transaction.
For years, the Walmart greeter was a retail institution. You may not get the best service in every department, but you could always count on someone to greet you with a smile and thank you for shopping at Walmart. It’s no coincidence that when the greeters went away, consumer complaints began to rise. The tone was different – the stores felt different, even if the shoppers didn’t realize why.
Greeters Establish the Customer Connection
The key here is both interaction order and customer connection. Greeters create the experience for customers before they have a chance to start relating on their own. So, even when Walmart is, well, Walmart, people start at a happier place because of the positive human interaction. They start at a better place, so they end at a relatively better place, no matter what happens inside.
Even the outfits will reflect a sunnier disposition. The new greeters will wear yellow vests, rather than the customary blue, reflecting their singular job – be light coming in and very visible as customers are going out.
Walmart Learns from Mistakes
Walmart should be commended for coming up with a customer-centered solution to their growing shoplifting problem. It’s easy to argue they should have never dumped the greeter program in the first place, but instead, take a moment to be thankful a massive company can realize a mistake and correct it … and let that be a lesson to everyone else. Solve problems with customers in mind, and don’t be afraid to fix your mistakes.
Roman Tenkin is a mobile entrepreneur and a real estate developer who was born and raised in the US.