4 Profitable Lessons You Can Take From Home Depot’s Failure

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Disclaimer: The results of all Customer Experience Audits™ are confidential and never publicly disclosed unless by written request of our client. The subject of this article is not and has never been a client of Linette Montae International. The opinions expressed are solely based on my customer experience during the visit referenced. I have not been paid or compensated in any way for my opinion. Your due diligence is highly recommended.


This week I visited Home Depot on 2 different days of the week, at different times of the day. And there is always a lesson for you from my customer experience.

Upon entering the store, I was greeted right away and throughout my journey from aisle to aisle – I was cheerfully asked if I needed assistance. For that, Home Depot gets an A, but like many companies – Home Depot delivered a customer experience that was not thought through to the end.

Here’s how.

On both visits, I rolled my cart to the front for checkout . . . only to discover closed lanes.

I understand having 1 or 2 lanes open during non-peak hours. That could be a smart fiscal decision. But I have never been to a store when all of the checkout lanes are closed and you are ONLY presented the choice of “self-checkout”.

I was honestly floored.

Dear Home Depot, I am a customer – not a cashier! ~ Dr. Linette Montae

 

Here are 4 lessons to take away from my experience at Home Depot:

  1. You must deliver a great customer experience during all 3 points: beginning, middle and end. The worst place to fall short is the end. Some consultants believe the worst place to fall short is the beginning but I disagree. While the beginning is important, a customer has a different level of awareness and expectation during or after the transfer of money.
  2. Never deliver less than an Optimum Experience™ in favor of saving money or increasing profits. Customers will understand a skeleton crew – UNTIL it becomes an inconvenience for the customer. Always have a cashier ready to scan and bag items. And no, having a cashier to help your customer complete the self-checkout process does not count.
  3. Beware of replacing human interaction with technology and automation. Offering self-checkout is a great option – it is not a profitable plan.
  4. Understand, “how” you do business is the true secret to increasing profit margins. Having a great product or service – having a great price or location, will never out live having loyal customers.