Well, it’s here—Black Friday. (Cue music from Jaws soundtrack of Beethoven’s 5th…)
While great for business, it can be overwhelming for you and your staff. But instead of just surviving, view today as a crash course in identifying time wasters in your checkout process.
For example, examine the following (these are taken from a blog we posted on August 13):
- Greeting. How does the company representative greet customers? Are they welcomed? Acknowledged with a “be right with you”and a smile? This isn’t necessarily a time-saving deal, but it does help the whole process get started on a positive note.
- Item sorting. This comes with practice. For example, folding speed can be greatly improved the more you do it. Taking clothes off hangars and removing security tags doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. Wrap breakable items efficiently, and maintain a fast pace while making sure things are done well.
- Payment Processing. Your employees small talk skills do not need to shine during processing, which should be as fast as possible. If employees have to make small talk because everything comes to a screeching halt waiting for confirmation of payment, or because you are using the chunk-ca-chunk “knuckle-duster”credit card swipe machine, it’s time to update. Read our ebooks Payment Processing 101 and Payment Processing that Doesn’t Suck for help in this area.
- Bagging. Are all materials needed for this close at hand, or is the employee pacing trying to get everything gathered? It’s amazing the time you can shave off just by having all the materials in a convenient place and logical order.
- Exit. What is the overall tone as customers are sent on their way? Do employees help the customer carry their larger purchases? Is a kind and professional “goodbye”given? Also, how do you feel leaving? What could be done differently?
At the end of the day (or maybe a few days after recovering) debrief with your employees. Ask them what worked and what didn’t. Because they had such hands-on experience, they will probably have a few ideas.
Encourage ongoing conversation about these topics as new observations are made throughout the holidays.