describe the image

We Should All Have this Disney Store Problem

Posted on 10/21/14 12:00 PM

If your business is Main Street, customer or guest service is one of the pillars in your market share strategy. Some companies map out a coherent, action-filled process and practice to achieve their customer service goals. Some companies just take a “fluff” approach. Social scientists have, of course, studied the employee-customer interaction experience and measured every aspect that is remotely measurable. The results are clear. Positive interactions result in customers spending more time in-store, spending more money, buying more add-ons, and making future returns to shop again. 
Unfortunately, customer experience shops (e.g. Mystery shops) often demonstrate that regardless of policy or process, the experience hinges on the individual employee…and sometimes what kind of day they are having or how busy they might be. So while the “customer experience” remains critical, the execution isn’t always consistent. The problem isn’t process and it’s not driven by a lack of commitment at the top level. The problem with customer service is more the battle between theory and practice. In theory leadership fully supports a positive experience, but in practice we do a really good job of making it second to just about every other task a store faces. In doing so, we send a conflicting message—deliver an exceptional experience, but also get all this other stuff done. Since the “stuff” is more easily and quickly measured it becomes the real employee priority. 
Read More

Topics: Mystery Shopping, customer service

Temporary and Seasonal Locations – Shrink Sink Holes?

Posted on 10/15/14 9:25 AM

Temporary and Seasonal locations appear almost everywhere there is vacant space. From shopping centers to malls, retailers range each year from the ultimate Halloween destination to Christmas calendar shops. These stores are a retail trend that has been gaining momentum as appropriate real estate is more readily available with favorable pricing and leasing commitments. Retailers are looking more and more to temporary locations to test new markets, new concepts or for the old standby, seasonal locations. 

Read More

Topics: loss prevention, employee awareness, Holiday Tips, Seasonal and Temp Stores

Demystifying the Mystery Shop

Posted on 10/7/14 10:43 AM

Some refer to themselves as mystery shoppers, secret shoppers or even undercover agents. The fact of the matter is, “mystery shopping” is about monitoring the quality of employee interaction through the eyes of the customer. The results provide a snapshot in time to give retailers/grocers/restaurant owners an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.

An estimated 2.5 million mystery shoppers serve as the eyes and ears for those clients in an effort to enhance the customer experience and in some instances determine adherence to the client’s policies and procedures. Many times, the information collected during mystery shopping programs is used to help the client improve training programs, better articulate expectations they have of their staff, and otherwise improve the ways in which the client serves its customers.

Read More

Topics: Mystery Shopping

Is Your Most Important Client too Subjective?

Posted on 9/30/14 11:00 AM

"I hesitate not to pronounce, that every man who is his own lawyer, has a fool for a client.” A rather harsh proverb, but such things become popular because they contain an underlying and universal truth. The issue is not that an individual lacks the intelligence, the skills, or the experience to be his or her own counsel. The trouble grows from the conditions of the human psychology. Regardless of how much we desire it, rationalize it, or proclaim it to be, humans seldom can maintain objectivity. The more important the issues is to us, the more the emotional charge, and the higher personal stakes, the more likely we are to slip into subjective reasoning.
Read More

Topics: Outsourcing, Consulting

Social Media: Good Intel or Rockstar Personas?

Posted on 9/24/14 11:30 AM

Ten years ago, the average person could manage his or her reputation simply by burning all the copies of the high school year book and by avoiding too many drinks at the holiday office party. Today, it’s not just that our lives are expose on several social media platforms…it’s that we volunteer these tidbits of our fame and fortune so freely. Perhaps for most—but not all—over the age of 30, we use a certain amount of discretion and common sense before we click “post.” Unfortunately this is not always the case for the Millennials and we may be witnessing an entire generation that later in life hires Web Reputation services the way Baby Boomers hired 401k financial planners. To that point, it might be helpful for public schools to eliminate guidance counselors and replace them with public relations advisors. 

Social Media “information” has taken turns down avenues we don’t completely understand and many professionals remain uncertain not only as to “how to” evaluate that information, but if they should even consider it. And while that large ship of Case Law, slowly turns to advance upon the questions and concerns, the real world moves at a much quicker pace. But its not all misty gray as there are places we can turn to get an idea of the direction.

Read More

Are Employee Smart Phones Too Smart?

Posted on 9/16/14 1:30 PM

I hate to begin a post with “back in the day,” but…back in the day, retailers had the technological advantage over dishonest employees. We had our cameras, our recording devices, and keen powers of observation to detect potential dishonesty. Mostly we could watch them a lot easier than they could watch us. I still recall training store managers to look for certain signs that today seem laughable. Suggestions such as to observe for “counters” at the cash register. Counters were any thing, like paperclips, pennies and the such, used to keep track of how much money the dishonest cashier had accumulated in the drawer from false refunds etc. Even watching for “customers” who wait to approach a specific cashier isn’t as easy as it once was. Smart Phones have changed the game.

Read More

Topics: loss prevention awareness

The Darwinism of Loss Prevention

Posted on 9/9/14 1:00 PM

Author Eric Hoffer wrote, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Darwinism and strict theories on evolution may not always work when examining living organisms, but survival of the fittest appears a solid principle in business. History demonstrates that business practices evolve both on the macro and the micro level. 

Read More

Topics: loss prevention

10 Things For Your LP Fall Planner

Posted on 9/2/14 12:54 PM

Read More

Topics: educate

How Bias Prevents Internal Theft Reporting

Posted on 8/26/14 10:16 AM

As a consultant and loss prevention service provider, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to a full spectrum of opinions on employee theft. Few, if any, business practitioners take issue with the fact that employees steal and most agree it is the biggest challenge facing companies. 

Read More

Topics: employee theft

Top 3 Worst Business Trends for Loss Prevention

Posted on 8/19/14 10:00 AM

1. Training Reduction - We live in an economy where cost cutting conversations have become more common than improvement discussions—unless of course you consider cost cuts as an improvement. Training departments and programs have moved from a staple to a luxury. But in saving the time and costs, we often sacrifice those hard-earned dollars we work so hard to earn. Industry experts estimate that nearly 15% of all losses are the result of error. Those estimates are becoming difficult to defend in an environment where companies loath spending any money on educating employees. The real problem is that without a solid foundation and the certainty that all the ships are moving in the right direction, the causes of our loss and declining profits become a large gray area. And the little mistakes can really add up. Transfers and shipments can be mis-processed, incorrect prices are rung through the register, waste or damages are mis-handled, and improper procedures open the door for breaches to our merchandise and money protection standards. Really, the only way to know the difference between an employee who doesn’t know versus one who doesn’t care is to ensure each has received the proper training and guidance on how to do things right.

Read More

Topics: loss prevention awareness, policy development, loss prevention, employee awareness, policies and procedures, customer service, Compliance, Training

Join our email list!