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The Power of Acknowledgement

It’s Saturday afternoon and I am in the lineup of a drug store.  There are three cash counters but only one is open at the moment.  The cashier is working to reduce the lineup of six people as quickly as possible.  There’s a problem – the next customer in line did not receive her double rewards on her purchase and would like to do a return and purchase a few more items to ensure she gets full value.  I know this because I like everyone else in line can hear everything.  The customer’s request is reasonable and the cashier is more than happy to accommodate her.  The line adds another person.  At this point the cashier does something that is not done often enough.  She looks me right in the eye and says “We have another cash counter available in cosmetics but you’re welcome to wait if you have the time”.

The cashier had acknowledged not only my presence but the fact that I was waiting and there might be a quicker alternative.  Instead of going to the other line I said “I’m happy to wait”.  In this instance, this simple gesture from the cashier made me feel my business was important and secondly that my time was valuable.  I think it happens far too often that we end up waiting in lines with no acknowledgement of our presence.  I can recall a bank years ago that made it a priority to acknowledge customers waiting and if they were not acknowledged they would receive $5 on the spot.

The key message for any shop is to ensure customers are acknowledged when waiting inside the store or in the lineup even if its a physical gesture but this way the customer will know that they are appreciated.

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