The post originally appeared in The Observant Customer 9/8/2016
There it sat, right in the middle of the aisle, the poor backpack. It had fallen from an overstocked fixture and now it sat in the middle of the main aisle circling the store. I am not sure how long it had been there when I spotted it.
Being small, the pack did not block traffic and was easy enough to walk around or step over. I figured that if it was still on the floor when I got to it, I would put it back on the fixture.
As I stood watching, I noticed two employees walking up the aisle towards the backpack. Ah, I thought, I won’t have to pick up the pack, surely one of these two employees will. I was wrong. In fact, one actually stepped over the pack and continued up the aisle.
I was a bit dumbfounded. How could these employees step over product that was in middle of the aisle posing a tripping hazard? The store was not very busy and there was plenty of staff visible throughout the store. Why had no one picked up the pack?
Post originally appeared in The Observant Customer 4/20/2017
He was timid, reserved and soft-spoken. We have all run across this type of customer before. It’s challenging to get them to warm up to you, they can be slow to offer information and they can even be hard to hear.
I greeted him and asked him what brought him into the store today. A rather defensive “I just came in to look” was his response. So I told him to look around and that I would check back in a few minutes if he ran across any questions and then I set off to help others who had just entered the store.
As I circled back to him after a few minutes, it was clear to me that he that he truly was looking for something specific as he studied the hang tags and pulled garments off racks to look at. It seems that he had needed some time to decompress and check things out on his own terms when he first entered our store. I re-approached him.
“Looks like you have run across some questions, how can I help?”
Post originally appeared in The Observant Customer 4/28/2017
One of the joys of a good road trip is getting well away from the interstates and onto the blue highways of William Least-Heat Moon fame. It is on just such roads that my wife and I found ourselves on a recent trip to Death Valley.
As we drove through southern Oregon, the clock was approaching lunchtime and we were beginning to feel a bit hungry when we heard a radio ad for the Klamath Grill on Main Street in Klamath Falls. The ad made it sound like a great local place to stop for lunch. We were not disappointed.
This breakfast and lunch spot serves up a nice variety of diner favorites along with some chef specialities such as Swedish Pancakes, Dutch Babies and a Cranberry Club Sandwich.
Waiting for my Huevos con Chorizo to arrive, I picked up a table topper to read. Anyone who has eaten at a small town diner might recognize these simple booklets with local history, bad jokes, trivia and area advertisements to read while waiting for your food.
As I was reading through the booklet, I ran across a reference to the “only solar-powered outdoor store in the US”, The Ledge. Checking my phone, I discovered the store was only several blocks from the diner. So we decided we would walk over to the store and take a look around before heading on to Tule Lake and Susanville.
Post originally appeared in The Observant Customer 2/23/2016
Getting two flat tires on the commute home is a rare occurrence but that is what happened to my wife recently. The current tires had given her many miles of good service and were due to be replaced so she asked me if I wanted to go with her to our neighborhood bike shop to pick up some new tires. We both headed out since I rarely pass up a chance to check out the latest bike equipment.
We knew the store stocks a particular tire she likes since we have bought them their before. She really loves the tires because they have reflective sidewalls, important for early morning commuters. In fact, reflective sidewalls have become so important to her that they have become the standard for any commuter bike tires.
Originally posted in The Observant Customer 6/21/2017
I was straightening up my workspace this morning and ran across a sample of a coaching log. The log had been developed by an experienced and talented store manager working for the company I worked at many years.
It was well produced with 50 pages to record when a manager coached an employee. I really liked the playbook and I hope that it improved coaching for the managers and their employees. Perhaps it lead to better sales, improved service or more effective and efficient employees.
This was not the only coaching log that I saw while I working in retail management and training. In fact, I probably saw 50 different versions over the years. But this one was a good one.
The reason why I bring this up is that it has been my experience that there is no correlation between good coaching and the use of a coaching log.