When an 11 year old perceives indifferent service

2 Boys aged 11 and 9 recently visited a local convenience store to buy some sweets. The shop was not that busy – maybe 2 or 3 other customers at the time.

Just as the boys reached the till with their sweets in one hand and their cash in another, indifferentanother member of staff arrived on the scene.

With no consideration at all for the number of customers in the store or consideration the 2 members of staff immediately decided that it was time to switch shifts – just because the clock said so.

It took more than 5 minutes to change the shift – this was caused in the main by their idle chit chat between the 2 members of staff, nothing to do with a shift handover. There was no apology for any inconvenience either and by the time they were finished all other customers in the shop were waiting to be served. Both members of staff were using their mobile phones while the changeover took place. No other person had entered the shop in the same time so it was not that busy that they could not have waited for a more opportune time.

This simply give the impression that this business does not really care about its customers – On the sign outside – it says convenience store – It would have been quicker to drive 3 miles to the supermarket and get the goods in the express checkout that is always manned.

People pay extra to shop in convenience stores, they do not pay extra to be treated with indifference and kept waiting un-necessarily.

While this is a staff issue – it also says something about the owner of the business. Have they not trained their staff on how to give excellent service with a smile. Or if they have, what are they not implementing and policing it. The big companies do. I wonder why? Could it be something to do with good service being linked to increased profits?

If your customer thinks you do not care, they will go elsewhere – and if they do, it is your fault – well at least 65% of the time in any case.

The 2 children picked up on this indifference – what about all the others in the shop? How often does it happen in your business and how much is it costing you?


Your Business Attitude to Training

Most small business owners invest very little time or money on training themselves or their employees. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • The benefits of doing it are never measured or quantified.
  • The time that it takes may not be available to many small business owners.
  • The cost of completing it can be prohibitive.
  • Fear of losing an employee having invested in them.

Ongoing training for employees and managers should be mandatory. If only in the area of sales improvement, service and over all attitude.

Consider this example.

A furniture shop has 1000 visitors to the store in a month. They are no greeted or engaged with unless they request help. When help is provided, it is careless and indifferent. Only 100 of the customers buy and they each spend €500. No loyalty is created and none of the customers are enthusiastic about visiting the shop again. 10 of the deliveries are late and end up being cancelled. Total Value of Sales – €45,000 in the month

Why would this company spend money on advertising when it should be spending money on training? Imagine if it did some simple customer service and sales training.

Again, 1000 customers visit the store. They are all greeted warmly, allowed to browse, Little-Gold-Bookcoverconfident that there is a friendly person available to assist them. They walk around comfortable in the store. The store is well presented because the team have been trained in merchandising. Customers can see what products would compliment other products they may want. 250 of them buy products and with help from the team, they spend €550 each. There are no late deliveries and all the customers would consider returning to the store. Total Sales for the month – €137,500 – Cost of Training – About €1000

Why would people not implement an ongoing training policy?

Training can be a great way to reduce your customer acquisition costs and increase your value of each transaction. But training delivered once and never revisited will not deliver. Training needs to be ongoing – if only for 10-15 minutes a week. What works well – is everyone doing this the same way. What does not work so well – Are we trying to eliminate this from our process?

As a manager or owner of a business, training needs to form part of your weekly mantra to your team. Believe it or not, training will make your life easier and will deliver better returns to your business.

As a team member, request training as much as possible, also self train, read and watch as much material as you can on your own development.

Call me today to start the process of ongoing improvement in your business.