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Stumbling Block? Think Outside the Box


Good businesses know that a stumbling block is just a block, not a challenge that cannot be overcome. It’s time to think outside of the box and find a workaround!


This came to mind when I recently shopped at Target. As always, the cashier did the dutiful task of asking if I would like to open a Target credit card. And, as always, I politely declined and stated that I did not want or need another credit card, since I always try to use cash or my debit card.


Now, I’ve said this every time this is offered to me, no matter what store I’m in, but this time I got a different response than the usual “okay” and continuing the transaction.


The cashier asked if I would like the debit card option, and started to explain that I could get a Target debit card that would be tied to my checking account, and can only be used at Target, but would still allow me to get 5% off purchases and donate to a school of my choice. I had no idea!


Unfortunately, I needed a blank check to get started, which I didn’t have on me, but it’s good to know. Next time I visit Target I will be sure to bring one.
This is a good example of a workaround to a potential stumbling block – with the current economy, many people do not want the added burden of another credit card. Target saw this as an opportunity and found a suitable workaround for those who feel this way; they can still enjoy the benefits while not adding to their credit.


On another note, it made me wonder from a customer service standpoint. I don’t visit Target too often, but as I said, I always give the same response when offered the credit card. This is the first time I’ve been given this explanation. Thinking this was ┬ánew offering, I did some digging and found that it has been in existence for at least two years now (possibly longer), but this is the first time a cashier has listened to my objection and offered a response, one that was very fitting to my objection. Had I had my checkbook, I would have signed up for it right then and there knowing this information.


It’s a good lesson not only in thinking outside of the box to get over potential hurdles, but in ensuring that training staff to listen to the customer, offer solutions, and be effective and thorough in explaining promotions or loyalty programs for the best success possible.




Author: Ann Michaels & Associates

Ann Michaels & Associates has been providing customer experience measurement services since 1998. We provide a full range of services to meet the needs of all industries and company sizes, including mystery shopping, customer and employee feedback services, and social media management.

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