I stopped by the market yesterday afternoon for a carton of milk, and chose the express line to pay for it; this would be a quick visit, but one with a good lesson ”“ those kinds of lessons you can get if you just pay attention to what’s going on around you.
There was just one woman in front me, unloading a few things from her basket to the conveyor belt, and as the cashier began to scan them the bagger asked her that all too familiar question, “Paper or plastic?”
She didn’t bother to hide the disappointment on her face when she looked up at him and answered, “Canvas” slipping the dangling bag off her arm and handing it to him to use instead.
“Paper or Plastic?” has been the wrong question for a long time now, yet it’s probably asked in that market hundreds of times a day.
There’s more: That market sells that canvas bag she handed to him. Sold for a dollar, it has their logo on both sides of it, and a rack full of them in three different colors sits between every two check-out stands. If you use it, the clerk gives you a dime credit on your purchase.
I hadn’t remembered to bring my own canvas bag with me, and to his credit, the bagger learned a quick lesson, for this time I saw him look me over first to see if I had one. But he didn’t change the question, and again he asked, “Paper or plastic?”
I did have a different answer though, and I said, “Neither one thanks, I can carry it without a bag.”
I have a very simple leadership challenge for you this week: Listen for all the wrong questions you’re still asking your customers. Wrong questions give terrible impressions, and we can do better.
Can we help each other out? What are the wrong questions you still hear in the businesses that you frequent?