Follow the Leader

In this space last week, my colleague Kim Zimmermann wrote of a shopping trip in which a supermarket employee failed to assist her during self-checkout. Now, I don’t know which supermarket Kim visited, but I can almost guarantee that it was not Wegmans.


There is a line in the movie Remember the Titans in which one of the black players, after a particularly poor practice, says to the white team captain who failed to call out his white friends that were performing selfishly, “Attitude reflects leadership.” That holds true for not only for high school football teams but for supermarket retailers as well. 


We all know that for years Wegmans has been at, or near the top when it comes to customer service. It can’t be because they hire better or smarter employees. If I was willing to wager, I’d say that Wegmans attitude towards customer service starts at the top and is filtered down through the ranks, from VP’s to store managers to department managers to checkout clerks.


By the same token, I’d also be willing to wager that retailers with store level employees that neglect customer service are sure to have leadership that does the same. In today’s economy, where every advantage in important, retailers that disregard customer service do so at their own risk. 


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