Joe Rawlinson, at Return Customer, writes about a friend who attempted to return a rug to Target without a receipt. Read the post, then answer the following question:
Did the employee satisfy the customer, fail to satisfy the customer, or exceed the customer’s expectation?
I have no doubt Target felt it was being victimized by fradulent returns. So, some bean counter figured it could save thousands of dollars in fraud reduction by changing a policy. That’s easily measured.
What’s not so easily measured is how many dollars Target will lose because customers who were loyal to Target will now spend less money there.
This is evidence that Target is “company-focused, not “customer-focused.”
Second, Joe raises a very good question about the employee who interacted with the customer. In a business with a “company-focus, the employee met the company’s expectations of how that employee should act.
In a “customer-focused” organization, the employee would have failed to meet the customer’s expectation. (Which is the correct answer to the question above.) Joe’s right, the employee could have picked up the phone and helped the customer either get a refund or a store credit. Getting the refund would have met the customer’s original expectation; navigating the customer through the 800# would have exceeded her expectations.
Once again, a business punishes the great majority of its customers because of the actions of a tiny few.
I’m not against loss prevention. But too often ham-handed efforts like Target’s result in the loss of loyal customers.