One Way PEP Can Help You

Good Morning!

I’d like you to take a few minutes to think about the questions below and answer them honestly.

  • Do you have employee or team meetings?
  • If so, how often do you conduct these meetings?
  • How is the attendance?
  • Do you get a 90% turn out?
  • Are you backing your team up and giving them different ideas to serve your clients?
  • Are you implementing the good ideas coming from your employees?

How comfortable were you with your answers?  I guarantee if you are utilizing your teams’ best ideas you will have more support from your team, for things like team meetings.  You will also have many more ideas handed to you for approval.  This will only happen if you have hired the right people and fostered a team spirit.  If you have done this, good for you.  If you haven’t, it’s not too late!

As you head to work in the morning, are you dreading employee interaction?  If so, imagine what your clients feel like!  We can help you fix this, change your habits and form new habits for the right team members.

Is this easy to fix?  It may be easier than you think?

Is it quick to fix?  It may be faster than you think.

You must start this process and have a vision of the end result if you want lasting changes of improvement.  We can help!

An Introspective Look in Avoiding Sales Doldrums

I haven’t been out and about since my last blog, so I have no great customer service stories or any horrifying customer service stories either.  Today, I think we’ll change gears.

I saw in the news that a major fast food restaurant is not increasing their sales as expected.  There were plenty of reasons given for the lower sales but I wonder if those were the main reasons.  Too many of these “stand in line and give your order” businesses seem to have a lot of people on the payroll but not all of them seem to be very cost effective at what they are acheiving.

When was the last time you sat down and honestly and effectively analyzed your profit and loss statement to see what is and isn’t working?  Do you keep track of your gross margin on all your products?  Do you blame the economy for potential drops in margin and profit?  Many businesses have a lull in traffic flow, customer purchases and many other low customer count indicators after the Christmas season.  This may be the perfect time to reevaluate your goals, merchandise line up, and employees, including their abilities, attitude, product knowledge and job description knowledge.  It’s a good time to ensure you have the right employee in the right position and every employee has had an annual review with honest feedback, both positive and negative.  Your employees may not be the entire problem.  It’s up to you to encourage, educate, give expectations and acknowledge your employees to make them want to improve themselves.

Don’t let this scenario happen to you!  Do not assume the doldrums will go away as the sales pick up again.  I find more employees than ever are ill-equipped to effectively answer customers’ questions.  Make your business the premier “go to” store for helpful ideas, product knowledge, a friendly smile and some advice to customers on how to tackle their project to make it easier.

Do you think having a staff would be more effective and fun if you kept your front line effective, efficient, happy and valued?  Don’t let a possible after Christmas sales slump stop you from rebuilding your staff the way they should be.  You will save time in the future with this investment in your employees.  Try it!

The Power of a Thank You

While filling my pickup with petro yesterday, I encountered a very pleasant surprise at the cash register!  After paying the cashier, he told me, “Thank you very much, sir!”

This gentleman was probably retired from his first career and performing an admirable job for his current employer.  I hadn’t had any employee give me a sincere thank you, like this gentleman, since October 5, 2012.  I complimented this employee for thanking me and remarked how rare the act was in today’s world.  He seemed pretty proud that I noticed and rightfully so.  All businesses could learn a thing or two from this wise employee who really seems to enjoy his work and the customers.

Why do I remember the last time someone thanked me for shopping their facility?  It happens so rarely it is easy to keep track.  It is sad that when everyone seems to be struggling for sales nationwide that this common courtesy is forgotten.

Have a great weekend and watch for “Thank yous.”  They do still happen…but not very often.

A Fast Food Encounter

I think, some of our followers thought I was nuts trying to blog about traits we either find endearing in an interactive encounter with various companies’ employees or with employees that don’t care if you shop their employer’s business or not.  Their employers let these employees chase customers or potential clients away.  Management doesn’t watch the staff interact with their customers and correct the behavior immediately, if at all.  How can business people afford to do this?

Business managers don’t give new hires enough training and usually never give their staff the company’s list of expectations.  This needs to be done with every employee, not just at initial training, but ongoing to keep team members aware of goals and how to treat customers and prospects.

Case and point, yesterday between meetings I went to a local fast food drive up to get lunch, not necessarily good food but it was filling.  The clerk at the first window told me the amount without making eye contact with me and didn’t bother to say anything as she took my money.  She didn’t utter a thank you or pull to the next window please, nothing.  She just kept the scowl on her face and put the money in the cash register.  At least, the person that threw the food at me at the next window faked a smile and told me to have a nice day.

Why do I continue to monetarily support this particular food establishment?  I was in a hurry.  Then I was disappointed, mad and still in a hurry.  Why don’t I leave enough time for my meals?  I could go some place where employees smile warmly, thank you for your patronage and really mean it.

Welcome to Our PEP Website

Welcome to our PEP website and especially welcome to our blog!

I was in retail management from 1977-2005 and I always prided my stores in hiring likeable, talented employees and keeping the facility neat and tidy so clients were comfortable and were able to find more things to purchase.  I also taught product knowledge to each department manager and worked to keep as many employees in the know as I could, for added customer enjoyment.  And it was important we didn’t forget to greet and thank all our clients as well.

Let’s get back to yesteryear and bring back true customer service.  I want to help employers educate employees and give them a passion to learn what culture is needed for your particular business.  Let’s teach employees that work and great service are not only profitable but fun and rewarding.

I will be blogging three days a week to provide you with examples of great service and horrible service.  Unfortunately, I run into horrible service more often than fantastic service.  Follow us, as we help business owners create a destination for clients that are craving great, friendly and caring service.  Why not bring back a business culture from days gone back and be more profitable each business hour while doing so?  Try it…it really works.  See if you don’t agree.

Marc Siverson