I have to write about this!


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It just happened! I was in Publix doing the grocery shopping as usual (I think men like to grocery shop more than women). I noticed Diet Coke on sale, buy 2 get 1 free. I was going to buy Diet Coke any way so I bought three twelve packs so I could get 1 free. At the checkout I only put 1 twelve pack on the check-out counter with the intent of telling the clerk to ring up 3 getting that great deal. As I closed out the transaction and began to leave I noticed I had not told the clerk about the other 2 twelve packs in my cart. I turned to the clerk and told him he needed to ring these two up that I had forgotten. I pulled out a 20 dollar bill to pay for the 2 twelve packs and speed up the transaction. Do I have you completely confused yet? This is when something amazing happened!
The clerk turned to me and said “sir; I rang these two twelve packs up on a separate transaction so you did not get your discount.” He told me I could get a refund for 1 of the 2 twelve pack Diet Cokes at the customer counter. He called the store manager over who said “oh my, let us give you a refund sir and we are sorry this happened. Also sir, the deal was buy 2 get to 2 free so let me get you another twelve pack of Diet Coke plus your refund!” The manager then says “can I take your cart to your car?” I said no thanks, but great service. The reply was “that’s why we are here!”
I do not remember a retailer going out of their way to help me and to make me feel special like Publix did today. They don’t even know me other than I go there 3 or 4 times a week. I am a loyal Publix customer. They just do everything right. Most importantly I feel like they care about me and really strive to make my experience great. No technology involved like a tablet or smartphones. How can this be? Publix does not even have self-checkout? Do you wonder why they do not use self-checkout or personal shopper devices? The reason I assume is they truly put customers first and want that human interaction! The Publix technologies which I know they have plenty of are behind the scenes and are transparent to the experience. Interesting? They don’t even know my name and measure my spend but they have my loyalty? It is called culture. Publix must spend an amazing amount of time training their employees and encouraging a customer-centric experience.

Could Publix do even more with technology and personal promotions for me? I think the answer is yes, but they had to get the basics right first!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Will Roche
Will Roche has over 30 years' experience working in IT with most of his experience in retail and hospitality. Will spent 23 years at IBM with 15 years in retail roles developing product and services delivering new offerings for IBM's retail business. He was responsible for the development and execution of IBM's first industry distribution channel for retail and hospitality which served the mid-market. Will joined Microsoft in 2002 as a founding member of Microsoft's industry business, with a focus on retail. He left Microsoft in 2012 for the Global Senior Vice President role at Raymark.


  1. Will,
    Wonderful article. Great service is all about treating people like you were treated. Putting the customer first as you say. It’s so simple, yet, sadly, so rare. Thank you for sharing!


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