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A Customer Orientation story: Winning back a lost Customer

There is a vegetable retail store near our house from where we usually stock our vegetables. A couple of weeks back, we had gone there in the evening to buy a few items. Since we were in a hurry, I picked up a few essentials and brought them to the counter.

Meanwhile, a gentleman came in and asked the store attendant to pick a good watermelon for him. They both were familiar with each other, 'must be a regular customer, I thought to myself. However, notwithstanding by the principle of first come first serve, even while my bags of veggies were still at the counter waiting to be billed, the attendant went to help the gentleman.

I spoke in amazement, "please bill our items first". To which he reverted, "1 minute please". Slightly angry over his conduct I left the veggies at the counter and left the store.

A couple of days later, we went to the same shop. Well, I admit that it is more convenient to buy from there for the hassle-free, fixed price, and fairly better quality products they have.

While we picked the veggies, the same attendant was busy billing for someone else. Once our turn came he billed everything, I gave him money, he returned the change, and I turned away from the counter. While I wasn’t expecting anything to happen, neither did I mention the last incident, the attendant, to my astonishment, said in a polite tone, "sorry for the other day", with folded hands!

Now, this is how you win a customer’s heart. Like it’s said, it is in moments of distress real human behavior, or in our context, real customer service is depicted. (paraphrased from the Batman movie, The Dark Knight)

I was immensely impressed by him and walked away with an unspoken promise to come back to the same shop.

Key takeaways from the story:
1. Human relationships are most important
2. Behavior is what wins customers. Products can be improved
3. The real test is with the difficult customers, not the easy ones

Do share stories from your own life on customer orientation and experience.

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