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Of Stellar Customer Service

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 12:03 pm

Dathan Mitchell, Shelby PublishingMy column this month will be in two parts, somewhat unrelated but as always, anything that affects our business is a part of us.

A couple of years ago I wrote a column about an incident that happened one Sunday on the way home after church. We stopped at a supermarket to pick up a few things, and when we were in the checkout line, Mary the cashier was having a conversation with the customer in front of us, who had forgotten her wallet. Mary told her to go ahead and take the groceries home and then bring the money back. Mary knew she was a regular customer, and after a series of “No, I can’ts” and “Yes, you cans,” she took the groceries.

When I’m out and about, my wife has asked me to call her before coming home to see if she needs me to pick up something for her from the grocery store. She knows I like to keep up with how things are going at different stores at different times because I love the grocery business and everything about it. Recently, I was at that same store I was referring to above, and I realized I had missed seeing Mary the last few times I had been in there, and she was my favorite. I know, my mom always told me not to play favorites, but Mary was so like my mother, always smiling, sweet, good-natured, very neat, attentive, looked you square in the eye and made you feel you were her favorite, too. Anyway, I meet with a group of men every Saturday morning at 7 to pray for our country, family, friends and pastors, and I had stopped in “Mary’s store” to pick up some sweet rolls. I asked my cashier about Mary, and she told me that Mary had retired. I feel as though I lost a best friend, but I am glad for Mary.

I want to personally thank that grocery company for having the insight to hire Mary when they opened this store a number of years ago. And I pray they will continue to look for more Marys as they grow and hire more employees.

You can sell 89-cent items at 4 for $1, offer double coupons, buy-one-get-one-frees, extend your hours and use all the other merchandising techniques you know, but you still need some Marys to build loyal customers.

Mary, I for one will miss you more than you know. You are a jewel and I suspect you always have been.

Your friend, Dathan Mitchell

Part 2


About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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