Yeah, you heard it here first. Tesco Metro is a cultural melting pot.
From the time poor, aspiring estate agent buying her chicken tikka wrap to the fragile, parka wearing, coin counting male buying a bottle of meths (nay – Thunderbird), who chatted about the economy, climate change and the fact that today is his birthday to be bemoaning cashier, we’ve seen a slice of ‘Cool Britannia’ in action today!
This isn’t a study in pop psychology et al – at all, merely an observation that in just 3 minutes, 56 seconds, I learned that the property market must be looking up as “it’s always lunch in the car before viewings nowadays”. I learned that the price of the gentleman’s chosen tipple had risen “50% over the past year” and that our hard pressed cashier not only has just had a “scanning rate increase” but also that “Pyrex loyalty cards need to be stuck down and folded by the cashier and this was a step too far by the management”.
In the past USDAW (Other Unions are available!) would have stepped in, prevented such ‘point of sale origami’ and seen the throughput of customers maintained but with a cheery smile – none of the peripheral conversations and ‘related sales’ we see today….
….Of course this is a little tongue in cheek, but what each of these interactions tells us is that our cashier was frustrated by lack of empowerment, and has lost the possibility to engage with her customers on a genuine basis.
Our estate agent wanted more time to make more sales and our last gentlemen wanted to engage, both with other people and his bottle of 5% pure alcohol.
Whilst this picture will be identical to another 1000 convenience stores across the country, there’s not many of us that have time to wish my ‘queue partner’ a Happy Birthday, or to have the balls to recommend the estate agent has a mint following that sandwich ahead of her next client!
Better still, would you write to the cashiers’ manager to ‘complain’ about her moaning, her slow scan rate, the fact she criticised her corporate bosses? Or would you write to the CEO, inviting a discussion about how engaged employees at all levels become genuine ambassadors for your organisation, and that it’s that personalisation that would give (in this instance) Tesco, a real point of difference to its competitors.
Given their current results, it’s worth a go isn’t it? Now there’s just time to write a letter….