You know that old joke, “how many (insert relevant person here) does it take to screw in a light bulb?” I often ask myself that question when I’m in a business…though I don’t tend to laugh at the punch line so much.
Here’s my joke: “How many staff members does it take to figure something out/help a customer/complete a task?”
I’ve often found that when an employee can’t complete the task at hand, they ask another employee to help. And another employee has to come over to see what they’re doing. Now three staff members are doing the work of one while customers watch…and watch…and don’t get served.
A few months ago I was at the Bay where two cashiers were helping a customer with her purchase. One to ring in the purchase, one to bag the purchase and both to chat with the customer. This is all fine if the person they were serving was the only one in eyesight. Not the case. I was standing…waiting…watching with my girlfriend.
A “Sorry, can I help you?” No.
A “Hi, we’ll be with you in a moment?” Nope.
A “Sorry, I’m training but I’ll be right there”? Nada.
You know what sucks? Being treated like you don’t exist.
But what also sucks, is wasting resources rather than helping customers. Managers are there to manage – staff, customers, the store…so let them. When customer service is already under fire for generally being bad, don’t make it worse by having enough staff but not using them to properly engage with your customers.