When was the last time you were on the front lines? In the trenches. Receiving and processing shipments, setting up merchandise at midnight to meet visual standards, following along behind the customer who demolishes piles and reconstructing them…it can be pretty thankless at times. Add to that the questions and challenges from customers who are confused by the mixed marketing messages on their phones and in the store. What about the multiples of sizes returned by customers buying three sizes online to determine which fits best and returning to the store to get return credit more quickly? Why do it?
For three months in the holiday season, I went back to my roots on the selling floor to experience the life of a sales associate in this multi channel world. Corporate communication is handled through on floor devices with multiple apps. Price look up is a win. Gone are the regular cleaning services and stock associates. In their place are cleaning supplies, scanning devices, multiple trips to the dumpster and recycling bins, and lots of ladders.
There is a special kind of person who is genuinely invested in helping the customer find the best answer, feel valued with a complete experience and leave satisfied. Successful companies invest in recruiting, supporting and developing those people. What have you done for these people lately? As an employer or a consumer?