Any bird that roams the Northeast and Florida in winter will inevitably think of two things: “Wegman’s supermarkets remind me of Publix.” Or: “Publix supermarkets remind me of Wegmans.” Wegmans has stores in New York and in some out-of-state locations. Publix serves clients in Florida. I’m not going to decide which foods to sell best, but I do know one thing: Both are great examples of how to run an informed business. What is the litmus test? How your employees speak to me.
At both companies, almost everyone you meet will ask you what you need. They will take you to the room they are in and offer you almost everything to make your experience more enjoyable or more profitable. Do it if your meeting was a minute away. For both chains, a buyer’s experience is at the heart of the business: sales appear to be a by-product of customer delight only to resume business.
Do you doubt that this is possible? In a MyWegmansConnect interview with the talk show, Alec Baldwin refused to live anywhere there wasn’t a Wegmans supermarket when two of his brothers tried to convince their mother to move from Syracuse, California.
For example, knowing the weather in Syracuse versus Santa Barbara will help you understand how remarkable MyWegmansConnect confirmation is. This irrational customer loyalty is one of the few ways that a company has been able to gain a competitive advantage. A smile and a few kind words can usually make a difference. We live in an economy that creates fair conditions and markets almost everything from soups to nuts.
Publix’s loyalty is the highest that customer retention can achieve. This is in part because employees can recognize you on the fifth visit if you shop there three or four times. If you stop and introduce yourself to a product, the next time you pick an apple you will probably remember its name, or at least its face.
What it does is the obsession with “short-term shareholder value.” Employees need a continuous salary and the added value that comes from their efforts to treat customers and family. If everyone spends most of their life in a company and owns it, they will not choose to do something that increases the stock price and reduces the useful life of the company.