I visited a newsagency yesterday to purchase a stationery item and when I approached the counter with the item I wanted, around two minutes after I entered the shop, the person sitting on a stool at the counter was startled.
I didn’t see you come in they said. That’s because you were too busy on your phone you lazy sod is what I should have said instead of just smiling. I paid, they gave me change and that was it. I turned back to check as I exited and they were on their phone again. The whole time they did not leave the stool.
The person who served me be would be in their early twenties and earning over $21 an hour to work. In the US this person would be lucky to be on $8 an hour and for this they would most certainly provide a much better experience.
This newsagency is in a busy high-street situation. Shops all around are open. The cafe next door was full. Trade could be good in the newsagency if they engaged with the opportunity on the street.
I don’t know the owner of this business but I’ll make contact to let them know my experience. If only this employee would do what they are paid to do … to work the shop floor, make the shopping experience more enjoyable and tidy the front of the shop so it connects with people on the street.
The employee I encountered is around the age of most people I noticed on the street. They could be more help to the business than sitting on the stool taking money and putting it in a drawer.
A business is a product of its leadership.
I am certain anyone could visit one of my shops at any time and have an experience that’s not as good as I would want. the challenge for us as retailers and leaders is to be clear in what we expect. We also need to hire for success and have a process for addressing shortcomings we hear about.