September 22, 2010
The other day at Kohl’s department store, I observed three separate customers pull into and then immediately back out of one of two parking spaces located near the store entrance. While both spaces were available, they had been reserved to accommodate the store’s Super Stars of the Month.
In each case, I watched as the shoppers who thought they had just landed coveted parking spots near the store entrance, had their expectations dashed as the affronting signage came into view. They then had to put their cars in reverse, back out, and go in search of alternate parking spaces.
I can think of many first impressions that Kohl’s would like its customers to have but disappointment, misfortune, and inconvenience aren’t on the list.
I’m all for employee rewards and recognition but incentives that have the potential to inconvenience customers, or in some other way negatively impact their experience, are misguided.
To me, this employee perk communicates to Kohl’s personnel that if they go out of their way to serve customers inside the store, then customers will go out of their way for them outside the store for the next thirty days or so…
And that’s not the sort of message you want to be sending to your employees—or your customers.