A funny thing happened to me this morning ( well looking back now it is kind of funny, but not so much in the momment ). I stopped by Kroger grocery store this morning to pick up some batteries for my wireless Apple mouse ( which I love except for the fact that it goes through batteries like crazy ).
So I am at Kroger right and I am debating over buying a 20 pack of regular batteries or a 4 pack of rechargeable batteries. Being the green guy that I am, I decided this was the best bet for the environment and probably for my wallet in the long run. So I grab the rechargeable Duracell ( a product I am pretty loyal too ). When I got up to the counter I went self check out since I find it quicker. I scan the product set it in the bagging area, hit pay now, and swipe my card. Then I notice the product rang up at $1.49 or something. So I think in my head, that's not right, I thought this thing was $15 or so. So the two girls stand there noticed I'm looking puzzled and I tell them I think this rang up wrong.
The head cashier running the self check out area looks and says oh yeah, that rang up as a bottle of something ( by reading the code on the screen ). So she calls the manager and another employee says they are upstairs, just have them call down to help you. Well the nice cashier turned up her nose and knew this was not a typical problem. Then as I am standing there waiting for like 5 minutes, I'm thinking what a pain and I need to head to the office. By now the cashier tells me that we are unable to cancel the transaction at this point so just sign for things and they will refund the amount. Well the cashier's manager comes down and looks at the product and finds there is a barcode sticker over the regular barcode.
Apparently, some kid was trying to steal it. At this point, I'm thinking to myself, crap, today is not a good day to have a goatee and earrings, they are going to think I did this. The cashier tries fixing things, but runs into another problem and then sees the store manager and runs over to ask him what to do. Then she comes back over and hands me the product and says here you go. My manager said you can have it. I was like… What? Yeah, you can have it. Wow! I said thanks and left.
The reason I am writing about this though is this was really a class act thing to do. The manager at Kroger took responsibility for the mistake and knew keeping a customer happy is more important than the $13 they were going to loose on this transaction. He was right! I will shop at this Kroger more in the future because they treated me right. You can not buy this kind of brand loyalty, especially not for $13 of marketing. I want to thank the team at Kroger for handling the situation the way they did.
I also want to recommend to you and your business the importance of taking responsibility for things even if they are not your fault. This build brand loyalty like nothing else. I have a new respect for Kroger for stepping up and doing the right thing when it would have been really easy to give me a bunch of trouble and as I mentioned before by judging me for my goatee and earrings.
Think about how different this article would have been had they accused me of putting that barcode sticker on that product.
So the take away is this…
Do the right thing at all costs and this will come back to you ten fold and build more brand loyalty than you can shake a stick at!