Customer Service Training Program Guidelines
An Open Letter To Weis Markets

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I have discovered that there are many little things that make moving to a new home a rich experience. Simple changes such as finding a new place to get your groceries can be an amazing journey of discovery. This was the case for me when we moved just far enough away from my favorite grocer to require a back up store closer to my new home. Welcome to Weis Markets.

My welcome to Weis was an unforgettable experience. As I stepped out of my car for
that first visit and my foot touched the parking lot it landed in chewing gum. Gum in
a parking lot can really happen to any business, but this lot looked grimy. I guess
with 157 stores though, that is a "lot" of parking lots to keep up with, and I am sure
that Weis is too busy to care about one customer with gum on their shoes.

On my first and subsequent visits, I was amazed to find that all but one of the
cashiers were bagging or teaching customers how to use the self-service scanning
devices at every register forcing any customers not willing to wait for the one and
only human cashier to check out their groceries themselves. I even asked a manager
about this, but was told they could not find enough employees. I was really curious
about the ones that were already working there, but this did not seem to go
anywhere with the manager who seemed to have more important things to do than
talk to customers. Perhaps I am old fashioned, but having a human at a register is
one of the last few services left that I am ready to give up.

So, I wait in the long line with the one human who is paid to run the register. Opps,
Can you help me? I forgot my "Weis Store Card." What? You can't ring it on a
generic store card like my favorite old store use to do for me? I have to wait in line
at customer service so they can look it up? You can't even call them on your phone
for me? Oh, you don't have a phone at your register, do you? Gee that makes it a bit
hard to help customers doesn't it?

As I wait for ten minutes in the "Customer Service line" staffed by one frazzled
employee, who is providing a whole host of services, I realize that 9000 employees
is far too many to train and besides they won't work for Weis long enough to make
the investment in training worthwhile. What does it matter if you lose customers
like me who drop an average of $120 per weekly visit into the one register staffed
by a human.

Who cares if I refuse, even in an emergency, to go to Weis and instead
drive 12-15 minutes to the Oregon Dairy, where there are always humans who will
ring me up on the "store card" and go out of their way to help me. Once they even
sent me home with several bags of groceries and an IOU when I forgot to make a
deposit and my bank card came up insufficient funds!! How does the Oregon Dairy
do it anyway? They are a single store operation but charge the same prices as Weis
and can actually afford to staff all those registers with humans? They obviously have put those people through a good customer service training program. And where do they find all those employees just 15 minutes away? Something sure is fishy here. It must be the shrimp sale at the Oregon Dairy. I think I will stop by seafood and pick up a few pounds.

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