I have battled for a long time with my desire to shop at Waitrose or Ocado and my wallet’s desire to shop at Asda. Yes, Waitrose is on the whole a nicer experience. If I shop with Ocado I get to know who is going to deliver my shopping, the licence plate of the van he will arrive in and what fruit his van will be dressed in and he takes my shopping into the kitchen for me – while my Asda delivery man deposits my shopping at my front door with hardly a syllable uttered.
However, with Ocado, I have to spend about 10% extra on an average shop for the privilege of knowing ‘Barry’s’ name prior to arrival. While this is wonderful service, it simply isn’t something on which I place enough importance in my shopping experience. With three hungry children, value is more important.
So I was interested to hear about Publix – an up-and-coming American supermarket that promises both service and value. Interestingly, Publix’s mantra is that, being so close to the consumer, they know not only what their customers want now, but also what they’ll want next.
I want my service companies to meet my needs…but I am delighted when they anticipate them. Service improvements such as I’ve described by Ocado are nice, but they don’t change my opinion – as they really don’t meet any needs I have.