Albert Heijn is one of the Netherland’s biggest supermarkets and they installed a herb garden to allow customers to serve themselves. It allows customers to pick the quantity of herbs they need with the feeling they are freshly picked.

Naturally, this saves the cost of the supplier and the supermarket having to pre-package the items and also reduces the potential for waste on the part of the customer, as they only buy just what they need.

People frequently enjoy the ability to perform tasks for themselves and it’s also more visually stimulating for the customer to see arrays of growing items rather than rows of plastic packaging.

Your next steps…

Are there some ways that you could bring the principle of self-serving or doing-it-yourself into your business?

  • You clearly can’t outsource the whole of your business to your customers – but are there some small components of your service that would benefit both you and them? How about the booking process? Or even some aspect of an installation?
  • How could getting customers to perform part of the process be interesting or valuable to them in some way?

Just do it…

Next time you are doing anything in your local town, look with a fresh pair of eyes at the ways in which customers in various shops are doing things for themselves. As you watch these activities, think about how they could be adapted to suit various situations in the way that you run your business.