Friday, February 28, 2014

Bright Side of Couponing: Store Superstars

Since I started a series about the Dark Side of Couponing, y'all knew this was coming, right?  (should always have positive with the negative):

Y'all know who I 'm talking about, but let's set the scene...

You go to the store with your shopping list, coupons, and a strong will to save piles of money.  Sounds like a pretty routine situation, right? Wrong!

For some reason, fate didn't smile on you today.  You are having trouble finding the items on your list.  The price tags are confusing, and they make you question if your deals will work.  Maybe this is even the first time that you are in this store and are getting so confused and overwhelmed that you just want to turn around and never shop ever again.  Whatever it may be, it leaves you standing behind your grocery cart with posture of defeat and a lost look on your face.

Just when you are about to count your loses, you hear:  "Can I help you with anything today?"  You look up to find a friendly face that shows a real intent to help you in whatever way they can, and...

you know everything is going to be just fine.

So are these Store Superstars?

When you coupon,  you come to realize that you go to the store more often.  A consequence of this is that you get to know a lot of the employees of the store: especially the store's superstars.

These people are the heart and soul of the stores at which you shop.  They make every store trip better, genuinely care about you, and are always willing to help nice customers.  (And even the not so nice and crazy ones too! haha)

The Cashier That Can Handle Any Situation

Hand them a huge stack of coupons?  They get excited for how low your total will get.

Have a weird order? No problem, they've been there and done that even if you need to pay part cash, part credit, part gift card, 30 day charge, etc.

Have a cart so crammed full that it should get some kind of award?  They have lightning fast scanner skills.  They also stack the bags in the cart so well that you almost feel bad ruining its beauty when you load your car.

Have a coupon that doesn't scan the first time?  As long as it's legit, the coupon could be wadded up and printed crooked, and they will still get it to work.  They are the master of the hand scanner.

Have 5 separate orders?  They don't even bat an eye.

Need to redeem 900 rain checks with coupons attached to each?  Child's play.

They always have wonderful attitudes, and really are the solid gold, diamond-encrusted cherry on top of a wonderful shopping trip.  You start to look for them every time you go to check out, because they are seriously that awesome.

The Floor Person That Will Go To The Ends of the Earth For You

Is the shelf empty?  They always go and check the back for you, and even tell you when the next truck is coming in so that you can plan accordingly.

Have to get something specific but the store is completely out?  They will do everything they can to help you including calling other local stores, setting up a ship to store order, or trying to arrange an adequate substitution with the managers.

Looking for a specific product but are in the middle of the biggest brain fart in history?  You can tell them something as vague as "well, the corner of the box had a red thing on it, I think," and they will find it for you somehow.

Their displays are always magazine worthy, and no planogram is too difficult.  Looking for a UPC?  They can rattle it off for you like it was their own phone number.

The Customer Service Angel

Going to the customer service desk is never fun.  (Working it isn't any better, I promise!)  This person makes it better.  They listen to all your inquiries, and they try their best to find a solution for you.  When they can't, they always point you to the right people to help you. 

No problem is too big; no question is too silly for this multi-tasker.  They answer the phone, make change for the cashiers, sell the lottery tickets, answer pages, and still manage to give you their attention all the while.

Found a problem on your receipt right after you checked out?  As long as this person is at the desk, it's going to be no problem at all.

The Amazing Managers

Sometimes a situation requires a manager to make an entrance.

This manager is one that stands out from the rest.  They are the ultimate problem solver and goes above and beyond to make sure your visit to their store is a good one.  (Bonus points if they treat their employees well and don't "throw them under the bus.")

Need a rain check?  A product substitution?  A large order-ahead order for a huge coupon haul?  They got it covered.  They don't mind your couponing and actually encourage it as long as you are following the rules.

Ending Note

As I said in the last post, I am a long time couponer as well as chained to the retail industry for many years.  (Still crying about my college degree, y'all.)  These are just a few superstars that I could think of off the top of my head.  There are so many awesome people in retail that don't get the credit they deserve!

I want to say too.  If you get exceptional service during your retail/grocery trip, please leave a good comment for that employee.  You can do this in different ways, depending on the store.  I say this because so many people call and complain on these same people for the dumbest things.  (the stories I could tell....) So if you get good service and you leave a comment, it could potentially save someone's job if one of the ornery customers decides to descend on them. 
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