A few weeks ago I was at my local Whole Foods when, at the checkout, the cashier looked at me and said, 'And how was your shopping experience?' I nearly dropped my organically raised produce when he said that. Oh ohhhh, have I been busted??? Because the Consumer Maven is all about assessing the customer's shopping experience, it almost seemed like a kowinkydinky moment. Ironically, just a month before this they had this one woman cashier who had the personality of a twice dead zombie and the warmth to go with it. I dealt with her once and vowed never to go through her line ever, even if it there were no people in it and every other line was 20+ deep. Fortunately she seems to have left for the night of the living dead.
So back to the question, "How was your shopping experience?" Lately at "my" Whole Foods, it's been very good. In the past, what struck me was that while the seperate service areas such as fish, meats, supplements, etc. were very service oriented, the customer service and cashier areas had been somewhat spotty and occasionally unpleasant. So far whatever changes that had been made about half a year ago seem to be, with the exception of the zombie woman, providing a good customer service level, one that we'd expect for a store whose claim to fame is higher standards. In fact, my last few experiences at the customer service desk were great, as have been the cashier areas.
It is interesting that this is a question that some stores and business should dare not ask unless they are truly prepared to stand behind change. At least at Whole Foods, they had the guts to ask it.