Rock And A Hard Place

I resent walking out of my local grocery or warehouse store having to navigate through several non-profit or charitable groups asking me for money.  Does this make me a bad person?  As important does this have an impact on my customer experience?

With all the scrutiny on doing the right thing what are merchants to do when asked by one of these organizations if they can camp out in front of their doors to solicit their customers as they enter and exit?  How can they say no without creating a reputation as being unfriendly to the community?  But do the merchant’s consider what my experience will be when I enter and exit their store?  Do they care?  Do they have a choice?

As customers what should we do?  Should we willingly stop at each set of hopeful eyes, listen to each pitch and open our wallet for each one?  What if our wallet was just emptied as we crossed through the checkout line in the market?  What if we just don’t have time today to stop and “do the right thing”?   What if we are burnt out on people asking us for money?  What if we feel guilty each time we make a point to not make eye contact and just keep walking?  And what impact does all this have on our experience with our local merchants?  Should we blame our guilt on the merchant and find a new place to shop?  Or should we cut them some slack and appreciate their commitment to community and good causes?

Does the cute little Girl Scout enhance your customer experience or detract form it?  Does the homeless vet invoke your inner spirit of compassion and appreciation or drive you away?

Talk about a rock and a hard place.  These are tough questions but worth consideration for the consumer and merchant alike.

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