The Customer is Always Right at Stew Leonard’s
Stew Leonard’s is called the “Disneyland of Dairy Stores” by the New York Times, because of its costumed characters, scheduled entertainment, petting zoos, and animatronics throughout the stores. They have placed smiling costumed “farm animals” at their outlets to greet and entertain you, along with a very customer-oriented team, to make it a fun shopping experience.
About Stew Leonard’s
Stew Leonard’s was founded in 1969 and is based in Norwalk, Connecticut as a specialty food store. Over the years, Stew Leonard has evolved from a small dairy store with seven employees to a regional chain with more than 2.000 employees and an annual sales of almost $400 million in their overall business. Stew grew up as the son of a dairy farmer in Connecticut. In the 1960’s he worked for the family business Clover Farms Dairy delivering milk.
Stew Leonard is also recognized for their management philosophy: “Take good care of your people and they in turn will take good care of your customers.” It is this philosophy that has ranked Stew Leonard among FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for in America” for 10 consecutive years (www.progressivegrocer.com, 2003).
How Stew Leonard’s puts the Customer First
At Stew Leonard’s, “The Customer is Always Right”
At Stew Leonard’s, “We follow a principle so important that it is etched it into a three-ton granite rock!”:
Rule 1: The customer is always right!
Rule 2: If the customer is ever wrong, reread Rule 1!”
The granite rock (6,000 pound piece of granite) is placed at all four Stew Leonard’s stores):(http://www.stewleonards.com/, 2017).
Stew Leonard´s is world famous for its seminars for companies around the world that have learned the techniques that turned a “mom and pop” dairy store into a World Class Customer Service Organization!
The seminars, based on the basic Stew Leonard’s culture, are built around an acronym for S.T.E.W.:
- Satisfy the customer: What’s the secret that ensures that customers keep coming back every week? We want you happy.
- Work together as a Team: Why are Stew’s 2,000 Team Members so enthusiastic? We believe the best way to have happy customers is to start with happy Team Members.
- Excellence in everything you do: Proven ways to ensure an attitude of continuous improvement in your business. You’ll love our quality and value.
- Get the customer to say WOW: How you, too, can make customers say WOW! It’s about fresh ideas and exceeding expectations.
- John Fallon, Marketing Director at Stew Leonard’s, said in an interview with CMSWire,‘’the retailer is people-centric. As he explained, “I can teach someone how to cut meat. I can’t teach someone to care about people.” (Seebacher, 2013). In other words, it is Stew Leonard´s attention to its employees that has laid the cornerstone of its notable customer service policy and high customer loyalty.
- Stew Leonard’s is “A Dairy Gone Wild” as they offer an in-store bakery, a meat and fish department, and a large selection of prepared foods and selected treats. At Stew Leonard’s, everything is possible to taste if you ask the happy and always smiling employees.
- (www.stewleonards.com, 2017)
We want you HAPPY!
You can’t have a happy customer unless you have happy people,” CEO Stew Leonard Jr. told Business News Daily in 2018. The real story about Stew Leonards wants every customer HAPPY came from the very beginning were the supermarket was just opened. A The customer had brought a bottle of egg nog and was not satisfied with the product. Stew knew there was nothing wrong with the eggnog as is was recently made. Stew started a disuccsion with the cusotmer that became incredulous. The eggnog bottle had cost less than a dollar. Stew reched without an apology, the cast register and reached for a dollar bill and curtly handed over a dollar to the customer. The customer took the dollar bill and stormed out of the store claiming she would never to come to the store again. That day Stew realized he just lost not only a dollar but a lifetime customer worth …..
Customer service is an attitude, it is a state of mind, it is the willingness to listen, to be involved and to be openminded! Hire for attitude train for skills!