I love to visit Crossword. It is a ritual I perform every time I visit a mall. Usually, these stores are quiet, peaceful and urge you to spend time with books you never care to read. But a few days back, it was a different story.
Two staff members were having a heated conversation. The mediator was their store manager who was quietly listening.
It was early in the day, around 11:30 am.
It was not a big store but clearly understaffed given its size.
I could hear the heated conversation from the extreme corner of the store.
By every minute it was getting louder. They were speaking in Marathi.
My wife gestured, let us move as I was trying to find a good book for her.
Whatever I could overhear was the following:
“I don’t take lunch breaks, she goes for lunch breaks and takes her own sweet time to return.
She doesn’t even file the bills. I am working here for 8 years, I have never seen such nuisance created by a new employee.”
We left the store. I didn’t even feel bad. I am not even a loyal customer of #Crossword. I appreciate them for their physical presence and always prefer to buy books on Kindle. Or buy physical copies from Amazon. Thanks to the huge price differential. Do I deserve a good experience at a Crossword? maybe not.
Maybe it was the post-pandemic noise as things are coming back to normal. The discussion could be dismissed as two employees voicing out their concerns over KRAs, work hygiene, etc.
We then headed towards Decathlon for a specific need; compression socks for distance running.
I love their large stores. Employees were busy arranging merchandise.
“You need compression socks? You will get them near the billing counter on the left” said a 20 something enthusiastic executive.
Once we reached there, he came and explained the nomenclature and the size details.
Unfortunately, my wife couldn’t get her size which she ordered online later but I got mine.
After a few minutes, he met us again at a different counter and asked if there is anything else we need.
Are we comparing the two experiences? Not really, it will be foolish to do so.
But I believe managing customer experience is very difficult. It is a deliberate art, well thought of the top levels and equally well executed on the floor.
Trivia: Decathalon hires employees who are passionate about sports. They are hired as sports leaders and manage the related merchandise.