Thursday, 4 June 2015

A stitch in time saves nine applies to business as well

There is such a thing as work that stops more work. For instance, at home yesterday my wife didn't want to take the extra 30 seconds in checking that she had the right log-in details for online banking. She put in the wrong code 3 times, and locked herself out of accessing the account. This prompted a 5 minute telephone call to the bank, passwords being reset and having to effectively re-register through the system to select new passwords and then having to reset access through the apps on both the iPhone and the ipad. In total, approximately 15 minutes of extra work.

And it's like that in retail. Being able to see events before they happen comes from forward-thinking and experience. Having witnessed events unfold before is a good market that they may happen again if left unchecked. Seeing an employee is unhappy or down is the point in time to deal with it - not waiting until they've handed in their notice. The extra work in ensuring that they are happy is a lot less work than dealing with the fallout and the recruitment and training process.  Having that sit down talk and being able to listen and hopefully help one of your team is easier than processing the resignation, doing exit interviews, advertising the role, assessing the applications, conducting the interviews, selecting the applicant, offering the role, completing the paperwork, starting the induction and training the new recruit.

It's just a short blog today, but I must emphasise the point before I go. Every part of your role is determined by decision-making. Even inaction is a decision not to act on a particular issue. The people who work around you will form their opinion of you based on what you do, how you act. It is therefore important that you seek to address issues at the earliest convenient juncture and try to avert situations from becoming things that absorb vast amounts of your time.

And this applies to situations with customers as well. Dealing with potential complaints in a decisive and definite manner will stop them turning into complaints that turn ugly and take up your time. And your customers will appreciate it. For example, if a customer believes that they have been wrongly charged for an item, taking them to the relevant part of the store and going through the pricing with them usually resolved the situation at source, rather than it escalating at the till point into some kind of argument. If this doesn't help, then a course of action to satisfy them is much better than allowing them to walk away unhappy.

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