Customer service from the heart, not from a manual

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Last updated on February 10, 2015

This article is written by Christine Hepburn: a true believer in exceptional customer service.

Christine Hepburn The Defining Edge Training and Development

"Our customer service does not come from a manual, it comes from our hearts"

This quote comes from a very large wall sign in the grocery store LaManna Direct at Essendon Fields in Melbourne. I had heard of their promise and was keen to experience the reality to see if there was proof behind the statement. Can I say there was? In one emphatic word, yes!

A client had been telling me about their preference for shopping at this store instead of a major supermarket chain closer to where they work or live. During the conversation, one comment stood out for me. It was, "when thinking of shopping at the big supermarkets I think, 'oh no I have to go grocery shopping', however when I am going to La Manna I enjoy the experience". As a matter of fact, this family now picks their young daughter up from school and then goes shopping, where they include a relaxing lunch at the in-store coffee shop before leisurely loading their trolley and heading home.

The aisles are wide and helpful staff plentiful, with a policy of a maximum of two customers waiting at a checkout before additional check outs will open.

Their fresh produce is 100 per cent Australian grown and beautifully presented. The coffee shop well patronised by relaxed, not harried shoppers. Delicatessen fresh and bakery items are plentiful and inviting, with many of them looking deliciously homemade rather than a bland, commercially produced product. The variety available throughout the store would suit even the most fastidious shopper.

A surprise and delight came at the checkout, not only in the form of interaction offered, but in a voucher for a specific percentage of the purchase price being given for use at my next visit. A loyalty card with an instant reward. No waiting to accumulate points here.

Apparently, many people will even drive further to shop at La Manna Direct, bypassing the more conveniently located competitors.

When was the last time you felt prompted to have a positive conversation around the subject of your grocery experience?

 Christine is the director and principal trainer for The Defining Edge Training and Development.

Business Tasmania would like to thank Christine for her contribution.

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