Staff, especially at the point of sale, are trained to ask certain questions or follow a certain path during each customer transaction. One of those questions might be, “Did you find everything okay?” This is a standard retail question, and one that most customers likely respond to with a “yes.”
What happens when a customer says, “No, actually….”
This happened to a friend recently in a grocery store. She did not find a particular item she was looking for, but finished her shopping and proceeded to the checkout. The cashier asked that standard question, to which the reply was, “Actually, no. I was looking for xxx and couldn’t find it. Is this something you carry?”
The first response from the cashier was more or less described as a deer in the headlights look. She did not have a response right away, and didn’t know how to answer the question. To her credit, she did try to find someone who did, and that person stated he wasn’t sure and went to look for it. However, he never came back, and at the end of the transaction, which wasn’t very long, there was never another mention about whether or not the store carried the product.
If a business expects staff to ask specific questions or go through a certain process when interacting with customers, it’s wise to make sure that all staff are trained to be able to answer the questions, find someone who does know the question if it’s something they can’t answer, and ensure that at the end of the contact, the customer’s inquiry was responded to as fully as possible.
In this instance, providing staff at the registers with ongoing training to ensure they are familiar with product offerings, or even keeping a sort of “cheat sheet” of available items can help an interaction be successful.
I found this interaction interesting, and one that highlights the importance of training, empowering employees and arming them with the knowledge to be successful, and continually monitoring staff performance to ensure the highest quality of service possible.