I went flower shopping at Lowe’s this weekend – with seemingly hundreds of other would-be weekend lawn warriors who had the exact same thought as me. And while I hated fighting the crowds (it was even hard to snag a cart), I was able to experience two completely different kinds of service in the same department of the store.

One one hand, there was Lori, who patiently helped me find the perfect plants for my front yard. We looked through what seemed like dozens of containers before we found what she deemed to be ‘the best ones’ (part sun, part shade, poor drainage, perennials only) for me. She talked to me about Rabbit Scat (a product I needed but didn’t know existed), sunlight, fertilizer, mulch and more. She pointed out QR codes, product promotions and asked if I was going to be having any tomato plants this year.

In short, she was great. She did up-sell me on a couple of items, but she also wisely steered me away from Cala Lilies (too much work for someone with my schedule). She was simply great. If I needed to hire someone, I’d have stolen her from Lowe’s in a heartbeat.

Move to the checkout experience and my salesclerk, Jeff. In Jeff’s defense, he was busy. He had to scan bar codes, check for coupons, make certain that Visa and Mastercards were signed on the back (and if not, he was matching photo i.d.’s to the cards) and more. But Jeff didn’t have any of the DESIRE to serve customers that Lori did. He was simply going through the motions and cranking us out. Yes, he was efficient, but he didn’t seem to like what he did.

How could I tell that Jeff didn’t really care? His departure message to me? “ThankyouforchoosingLowe’shaveagreatdayandcomebackandseeusagainsoon”. “NEXT!”

Yes, it was that special. It was actually almost laughable, he said it so quickly and in such a monotone. How much longer would it have taken him to at least put a little emphasis on his ‘thank you’ message? Maybe 20 seconds. But that wasn’t Jeff’s way. Jeff viewed us as a job to get done, a crowd to control, a service to perform.

Lori, on the other hand, viewed us as an experience to create.

So, are you a Lori? Or are you a Jeff? You might want to ask yourself that question.


Posted on 02. Jun, 2011 by Lisa Trosien


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