This week I visited a Big Box Store on 2 different days, at different times of the day.

Upon entering the store, I was greeted right away and throughout my journey from aisle to aisle – I was cheerfully asked if I needed assistance. For that, the Big Box Store gets an A. But like many companies – the Big Box Store delivered a customer experience that was not thought through to the end.

Dear Big Box Store, I am a customer – not a cashier! #ThatMakesProfitableSense.

Here are 4 lessons to take away from my experience at the Big Box Store:

You must deliver a great customer experience at all 3 points: beginning, middle, and end. Some consultants believe the worst place to fall short is the beginning, but I disagree. While the beginning is important, a customer has a different level of awareness and expectation during and after the transfer of money. And for this reason, the worst place to fall short is the end.

Never deliver less than an exceptional experience in favor of saving money or increasing profits. Customers will understand a skeleton crew – UNTIL it becomes an inconvenience for them. Always have a cashier ready to scan and bag items – not just a cashier to help your customer self-checkout.

Beware of replacing human interaction with technology. Offering self-checkout is a great option – but it is not a profitable plan you can sustain.

Improving, “how” you do business is the secret. Increasing margins happens when you “exceed your customers’ expectations on purpose.”â„¢ Having a great product or service – having a great price or location… will never outlive loyal customers.

Originally published by Linette Montae on LinkedIn March 19, 2015

Disclaimer: The results of all Profit Finding Auditsâ„¢ are confidential and never publicly disclosed unless by written request of the client. The subject of this article is not and has never been a client. The opinions expressed are solely based on my customer experience during the visit referenced. I have not been paid or compensated in any way for my opinion. Your due diligence is highly recommended.