Sam Walton (Walmart founder): Believe me… the client will never come back

Maybe some of you have already come across this, but for those who haven’t, here goes…

A few years ago Sam Walton, founder of the biggest retailer in the world, opened a new training programme for Walmart employees, and made sure he took the first slot in every training session.

Most people expected Sam to make a speech about the history and the values of the company, about sales or customer service. But instead Sam shared a short, simple and personal history.

I’m the kind of person who goes to a restaurant, sits at the table and patiently waits, whilst the waiter does everything but taking my order.

I’m the kind of person who goes to a shop and waits in silence, whilst the employee behind the counter finishes the private conversation with the colleague, before taking my payment.

I’m the kind of person who goes to a gas station and never buzzes, but waits patiently whilst the employee finishes his newspaper read.

I’m the kind of person who explains to a supplier his urgency on getting a specific product, and does not complain after receiving it 3 weeks later.

I’m really the kind of person who enters any commercial establishment and seems to be begging for attention, for a smile, for the employee to do me a favour.

And now you must be thinking that I’m just a nice, calm, relaxed, quiet, patient kind of person. But you are wrong!

You know who I am? I’m the customer who will never come back.

And then I have fun. Watching these companies spend millions of dollars, in marketing and advertisement, in order to make me come back to them. When actually I was there already, and all they had to do was a simple, cheap and easy thing: treat me with a little courtesy.

There is only on boss: THE CLIENT. And he can fire everyone in the company. From the employee to the Chief Executive, simply by taking his money somewhere else

Customer Experience. This is what it is all about. And a good one has lots of components, from employee empowerment to personalised service. But the truth is that everything should start from the basics. And the foundation for a good CX is something as simple as a bit of courtesy. And that doesn’t require any investment in time or money, just the right attitude.

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