I was out shopping the other day and I did something that I’ve done many times when I’ve driven into Asda: I drove around to the parent and child parking spaces. Then I drove out of the car park and went to Sainsbury’s instead.
So what just happened?
A simple thing, really. I wanted a parent and small child space, and there were none. None at all. This happens quite often, and is a clincher for me when I’m finding a supermarket to go shopping at. I’m not going to rant on why the bays are a good idea as they are for many reasons. But I’m going to point out something that happens frequently at Asda and Tesco here, and why I think there’s a trick being missed.
First of all, despite the signposts, I don’t think that a single parent and child bay is monitored by the supermarkets. Anybody can drive up and park and no-one will bat an eyelid. This causes them to become full very quickly for no good reason. They should be monitored.
Secondly, and the most important, I don’t think that the supermarkets appreciate how much not having a space affects their business with me. I think that it wouldn’t be wrong of me to guess that they lose over £1000 per year of trading from me. Each. Simply because I drove away. I was a willing customer. I took the trouble to get there, and I was turned off by not having suitable parking.
But the really sad part is that they have no way of knowing that there’s a customer that came this close to spending money with them. It dawned on me that there are probably lots of businesses out there that have customers walk up to their virtual doors, and turn away at the last moment without realising that they have just lost a customer.
I can’t help wondering that maybe businesses should sometimes stop and think where they might be losing unseen customers, as there’s a potential killing to be made if these unseen and unsaid problems are never dealt with.
I wonder how many people simply ‘drive away’?