posted: Friday, November 4, 2011

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I want to share a story with you today that I heard many years ago, but it is as true today as it was when I first heard it. It's called, "Don't smell the milk."

A woman had just gotten home from the grocery store and was in the process of putting away all of the food she had just bought. After she was done, the woman decided to pour herself a glass of milk. As soon as she opened the brand new gallon of milk, the smell was very apparent. Just to make sure, she held the gallon up to her nose and sure enough the milk was sour.

The woman was not upset, she knew that mistakes happen, but she did take the milk back to the store to exchange it for a good one. She explained to the clerk what had happened and that she just needed a fresh gallon of milk. The clerk took the milk she was returning and proceeded to open it and smell it himself. He looked at the woman and said, "Your right, that's spoiled. Let me go get you a new one."

The woman was in shock and insulted! Why you ask? She had just told the clerk that the milk was spoiled, why did he have to check? The woman expressed to the clerk that she was upset because he openly questioned her claim right in front of her. She was so upset that she asked for her money back instead of a new gallon of milk. As she walked out of the store, she passed the manager and said "I've shopped here for many years, but after today I won't be back."

The issue here is not the milk; the issue is trust. The woman explained why she was returning the milk and the clerk did not trust her. In reality, he probably did trust her but his actions said otherwise. It was probably a natural reaction for him to open the gallon of milk and smell it, but the customer is also right in this case. When a customer returns something they bought from you, or even if they share information with you during the selling process, do not question them or look for verification. We are trying to build trust with our customers and if the first thing we show them is that we don't trust them, why would they trust us? Don't smell the milk!

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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