Service Excellence: I Can’t Imagine a World Without

If a grocery store can win a Forbes 5-Stars rating, this store would be it. It’s one thing to be exceptional, and it’s another to be consistently exceptional. MOM’s Organic Store in the Washington DC Metro Area is just that; Consistently Exceptional. I can honestly say that every business can learn from the workplace and service culture that MOM’s cultivates.

Here are a few key points that MOM’s excels at (and all organizations can emulate).

The Staff is Knowledgeable

There’s something to be said for competency. If I ask ANY employee about ANY product in the store, they either know the answer or find out. One time, I was in the store looking at pineapples and there was a sign close by about bromelain. When I inquired about it, the employee stocking the fruits and vegetables happily told me what it was, where it’s found, and why it’s beneficial.

On another trip, I inquired about the different grades of maple syrup, and the employee politely excused herself to find out. She came back within a few minutes, found me in an aisle and told me about the grades of syrup and what the different grades are best used for.

Simply put, everyone is capable (and willing) to do everything. I have a feeling that an employee would be banished from employment if they ever uttered the words “I don’t know” or “It’s not my job”.

Takeaway: Don’t let job titles or department names get in the way of learning as much as you can about where you work.

They Look Out For Me

No one likes to feel like they are a transaction. As a customer, I want to feel like you care about me, and not just the money I am spending. On more than one occasion, I’ve been at the cashier checking out and the person bagging the groceries would reach for a nearby coupon book, flip through it, and tear out a coupon that applies to one or more of my items.

Also, every customer gets their groceries bagged by an employee every time. And that employee ALWAYS offers to escort the customer to his/her car. One interesting note is that the person bagging also can be a cashier or shelf stocker, or work at the customer service desk. This is only possible because the team is clearly unified around a common purpose, which is to create a world-class shopping experience for every customer, everyday.

Takeaway: Find specific ways to make your customers feel genuinely cared for (that all team members can do). 

How do they create this culture?

*No Customer Service Training (I knew that would get your attention)…Yes, there actually is training, but not in the traditional sense where customer service is a set course. Service excellence is passionately baked into everything that is taught, modeled, and recognized. This is obvious through their daily huddles, management working alongside staff, and commitment to quality products.

Takeaway: Don’t make customer service training a one-time event. Incorporate discussions and activities about exceptional service everyday. Yes, everyday.

*There is strict clarity around “who they are” and the management doesn’t compromise on who they allow to work there. I have a feeling that staff would prefer to be short staffed than working with someone who doesn’t embrace the MOM’s service-centric culture.

Because of all of this, I find myself wanting to buy stuff there. In fact, when I pick up my daughter from school, she regularly asks, “Dad, are we going to Mom’s today”?

To measure a customer’s passion for a brand, also known as “customer engagement”, the Gallup Organization pioneered the following question: “Can you imagine a world without (insert company here)?” Engage your staff in a dialogue around that question. Can your customers truly imagine a world without your company’s products and services? Why or why not?

I can confidently say that I can’t imagine a world without MOM’s Organic Store and that is the gold standard every organization should strive for.

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