Retail Staff Trained to Think
When faced with a customer who has a problem, do you expect your employees to consider options and come up with a win/win for your company and your customer?
Or, do you expect them to blindly follow rules, quote policy and, basically hope for the best when it comes to alienating the customer in question?
Our guess is that you would expect them to try and come up with a win/win solution.
If you haven’t given much thought to this – and many employers don’t because they just take certain things for granted –you really should.
Otherwise, your customers may be subjected to mistreatment and inconvenience.
Here’s a story that illustrates just how easily a policy quoting employee can upset your good customers:
It was a busy day in a large store, where membership is required in order to enter the store and/or make a purchase.
The individuals in this story, a husband and wife, made a large purchase, showing the wife’s membership card at the checkout.
A few minutes later they realized they had forgotten to buy a couple of things… so, the husband went back in to pick the forgotten items up.
The wife handed over their debit card and their membership card and she went out to the car.
The husband arrived at the checkout – and waited in a very long line up – only to be told that he could not use his wife’s membership card.
He knew the rules but hadn’t thought about it until the cashier refused his wife’s card.
He could have gone back to the car to get his wallet containing his own membership card before purchasing the items but, really, the membership was in both of their names and they spend thousands of dollars annually and they had just purchased moments before and he had stood in such a long line…wasn’t there some way to take care of this?
Wasn’t there something that could be done to help him out?
No, no, no. The employee was not going to even consider what might be able to be done. The husband left the items at the desk and left the store.
After waiting so long with his wife sitting in the car, he really didn’t want to waste any more time.
All he had been looking for was a little understanding and some willingness to help him.
Now, it must be said that a review of the rules – or the policy – would prove that the cashier was technically correct.
But, there were things she could have done.
She could have looked up the membership to see that this customer was, indeed, listed as one of the members; was the spouse of the other member.
She could have seen that both the husband’s and the wife’s cards are used often. She could have called her supervisor for help.
She could have done something to show that she cared about the predicament the member found himself in. But, no, she did not think of him at all.
She just followed the rules. And she wasn’t at all pleasant about it.
If she had agreed to allow the man to use his wife’s card for membership identification purposes (remember, it’s not a credit or debit card, just an I.D. card) and it turned out that this man had stolen the card…what would the consequences be?
What damage would the company sustain? They would have given a discount of about $2.00 to a thief. That’s it.
Call us crazy, but we think the damage done was much worse by punishing this member for forgetting to go to the car to get his card, by wasting his valuable time and by showing complete disregard for a long standing (about 20 years), high spending member.
A little common sense goes a long way!
Something else to think about…if the cashier really thought the card was stolen, why did she give it back to him?
If she was so intent on protecting the company and the member (the wife), then shouldn’t she have kept the card? Thinking is part of the job.
It’s always better to think of how you might solve a problem for a customer than to blindly follow rules. But, your employees won’t necessarily know that.
It’s up to management to ensure they know.
DMSRetail is constantly working to bring you more options for training your Associates.
We know it can be difficult to get everyone on the same page…to make sure all of your Associate’s are ready, willing and able to provide consistently amazing shopping experiences for your customers and to think about win/win situations when faced with a problem.
Our Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service Fundamentals Self Study Course can help…and we’re now making it even more convenient for you to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
That’s why we introduced a new, digital version of our Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service Fundamentals Self Study Course. It’s been one of our most popular training programs because it’s so easy to use and gets great results.
Now, you can get the course faster than ever before because the digital version is sent to your email address when you place your order!!
No waiting. Buy now, use now.
The investment you make in training your Associates will come back to you many times over as you get more profitable sales, increase goodwill and expand your loyal customer base.