Check It Out

As long as I am at the helm of MOM’s, something you will never see in any of our stores is a self-check out lane.

I have watched through the years as other grocers have installed them and sometimes later de-installed them. The reason why grocers want them is to cut down on front end labor.

The front check-out experience is the ONLY guaranteed interaction we can have with a customer.  It is our main chance to be friendly and efficient and to leave the customer walking away with a warm, fuzzy feeling about MOM’s and our staff.

To forfeit that experience in an effort to cut a small amount of costs is as short-sighted of a strategy as I can imagine.  Not only does is take away a grand opportunity to impress the customer, it actually makes more for a negative experience for the customers- as it takes them longer to check out and it’s more work for them.

I scratch my head wondering how these leaders of large corporations with their Wharton and Harvard Business School degrees can lack such foresight, focusing only on the very short-term, rather than the not-too-distant benefits of a customer’s positive shopping experience.

I think that it’s quite easy to compete in the retail business, not because MOM’s is so great, but because others are so bad!

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12 Responses to Check It Out

  1. You’re a good man, Scott! And MOM’s is the best (especially since you dropped that Lancaster-based CSA!) Keep up the good work!!

  2. jimpageadmin says:

    Key (to me) portion of Scott’s post:
    “It is our main chance to be friendly and efficient and to leave the customer walking away with a warm, fuzzy feeling about MOM’s and our staff.”

    Baffling that something as simple as showing a helpful and smiling face to a customer handing over money is over the heads of many of today’s marketing pros. You have to scratch your head.

  3. John Tomlin says:

    “Self check-out” also cuts jobs, maybe not many, but it illustrates the point that big businesses don’t use their tax breaks to create jobs. Besides, when I have completed shopping it is very pleasant to have someone else check me out.

  4. Anne says:

    This is one of the many reasons I love shopping at MOM’s. It’s also one of the many reasons I stopped shopping at Giant years ago.

  5. Terez says:

    I love that the bagger always picks up my bags to carry them out for me. Sometimes I prefer to do it myself but I adore the courtesy. When i do need or wantvhelp, it’s never embarrassing and I never feel that I’m putting anyone out. It’s just normal that someone is helping with my ages at MOM’s.

  6. Jane says:

    Maybe it’s because alot of the clerks in major stores aren’t friendly that they want people to go to the machines!

  7. Matt Hand says:

    Another huge plus to grocery shopping at MOM’s is you don’t need any silly club card to get sale prices. The price MOM’s advertises is the price you pay and that’s a great example of your company’s integrity. How ridiculous it is for other stores to ask for your personal information to get the sale price they’re promoting in their flyer and advertising. Maybe they believe they are in the business of sharing customers private info for profit and not the grocery business? Thank you MOM’s for showing what true customer service looks and feels like.

    • Scott says:

      Agreed. At our grand opening for our Waldorf location tomorrow, we’re having a raffle (as we usually do). I did some pushing back on that idea because most raffles are used for the same reason as club cards- to get information and data from the customers for the purpose of marketing to them.

      We’re still going with the raffle, but not requiring anything other than contact info to contact the winner.

  8. sue whitney says:

    To be fair, going through the self check out is very convenient and usually preferable in many large stores where the clerks are not giving personal attention to their customers anyway. In their cases, it probably is not so short sighted and does offer an alternative, so more ppl are satisfied, overall.

    • Eileen Heefner says:

      To Sue Whitney who thinks “more ppl are satisfied, overall” with self-checkout, I adamantly disagree. In a very few stores – where everything works – it’s fine. But I’ve found about 75% of the time something does goes wrong and I have to push that button (and wait for who knows how long) until someone comes by to help.

    • Why does it have to be either/or? Freedom of choice is a value that we generally respect, isn’t it? I do appreciate the attention that MOM’s employees pay to their customers. But, when I only need to grab an item or two, I’m not looking to stand in a long line behind full carts. Yes, I know that self-checkout has lines, too and that self-checkout is not synonymous with express – however, it typically is express for me because I avoid lines by shopping when the grocery stores aren’t busy. (And, where I shop, there’s always someone watching, waiting to help me when the machine chokes.)

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