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    Superior Shopping, from Your Customers' Point of View

    Doing your homework pays off when it comes to defining the ultimate shopping experience

    By Jack E. Hubbs

    Do your employees know how your customers define a superior shopping experience?

    The key word in this question is "superior." The outcome you want from achieving a superior shopping experience is to enable your business to achieve financial results, which provides a reasonable return to shareholders and career growth and job opportunities for your employees.

    Just meeting basic needs does not get you to a superior level. A clean store, friendly service, quality perishables, broad assortment and competitive prices are the foundation upon which the superior shopping experience is built. Superior performance based on this foundation requires making such a strong impression that your customer will choose your store over your competitor's.

    Achieving a superior position in your customer's mind requires a clear understanding of how your customers would define a superior shopping experience. Your workforce must focus on creating that superior shopping experience.     

    The process for aligning what a customer defines as a "superior shopping experience" with what your employees think is a superior shopping experience requires the following:

    • market research that clearly defines what your customer defines as a "superior shopping experience"; and
    • in-store research of how your employees define a "superior shopping experience."

    Once you've concluded your research, the next steps are: 

    • Communicate your customer's expectations with your store team;
    • Create and implement training programs for your store team to meet the needs defined by your customers;
    • Conduct regularly scheduled follow-up research to measure the progress you are making in providing your customer a superior shopping experience; and
    • Make changes where necessary to stay on course.

    Demographics can make a huge difference in what your customers define as a superior shopping experience. The most relevant research will come from your customers and the market you serve on a store-by-store basis.

    -- Jack E. Hubbs, Editor, Food for Thought

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    By Jack E. Hubbs
    • About Jack E. Hubbs

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