Will you marry me Costco?


Share on LinkedIn

On Twitter, I spotted this public declaration by @mpace101: “I might consider remarrying if Costco was a woman @ Costco http://gowal.la/c/3GvGs”.

I happen to agree with this kind of tweet; I’d marry Costco but I’m already taken.

How do the companies earn such fanatical comments? Here’s a look at the big and small things that Costco does.

POLICIES: They have a longer and kinder return policy than most retailers. They offer a 90 day return window on electronics such as computers. By contrast, Best Buy offers 30 days. That is a huge deal when you know how problematic new electronics can be and how some bugs only show up after extensive usage. This policy has saved me more than once from a bad machine.

– They have policies that allow employees to delight customers – you can feel it as a customer. They want to help you make a return, they want to help you find what best fits your need, they want you to be happy with their company. It shows. You don’t hear comments such as “we can’t” and “we don’t do that here” in their stores. I love that.

STAFFING: Kind and helpful employees. Costco pays their employees more than other similar-sized Big Box retailers and, as a result, Costco has a more dedicated and more engaged staff. That translates into great customer experiences. Once, I spoke to a gal at the returns desk who had worked at Costco for 20 years. She was considering moving home and was only considering new towns that had a Costco where she could work!

PRODUCTS: Costco rotates its stock to keep the shopping experience fresh so that the customer is constantly finding new items that bear the company’s hallmark of quality bulk items at a reasonable price.

Please notice that Costco continues to prosper (even in this tough economy) even though they don’t always offer the cheapest products, even among warehouse stores. Yet legions of customers clamor for what they offer – reasonable prices plus a pleasant shopping experience with some surprises (the rotating stock) thrown in. They are good example that not all customers consider price ahead of other factors. As much as I love saving money, I consider Costco’s full price worth paying given the ease of returning goods and the great customer service, etc.

What policies, procedures and products do you have that earn customer raves?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kim Proctor
Kim has a passion for improving the customer experience and loves the online space. Having spent most of her career on the web, Kim is a consultant that knows how to grow web traffic, leverage social media and grow deeper customer relationships. She has consulted for a wide range of companies from small business to the Fortune 500. For more info, see www.CustomersThatClick.com.


  1. Hello Kim
    Thanks for sharing this. I notice that you started with policies – specifically policies that are kinder towards customers and which create space for the staff to delight customers. This is one aspect time and again – the real barriers to great customer experience design are policies and not processes. Yet, too many are focussing on process improvement without changing the policies.

    The other interesting thing that I have noted is that the kind of organisation that has customer friendly policies also tends to do a good job of hiring the right staff and keeping them motivated. Perhaps, because they also have employee friendly policies.

    Thanks again for an insight into Costco; Costco is not that big here in the UK so I have no experience of it.


  2. Thanks Maz. Good point about policies – they really tie the hands of the employees to offer the kind of service that delights customers.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here