A recent visit to one of the organised grocery stores was quite good till the time we reached the cash counter. It took us about 15-20 minutes to shop for everything we wanted and an additional 20 minutes just to pay the bill. The whole scenario was a put off. First there were three billing counters but just two people to operate them. There was a customer in front of us who had a discount coupon from the mart and wanted to utilise it, with the billing personnel having no knowledge of its usage.
Conversation at the billing counter
Cashier 1: “May I help you, sir?”
Customer 1: I have a coupon that entitles me for a discount of Rs 100 on shopping. Kindly adjust with my bill.”
Cashier 1: “Can I have the coupon?”
(Customer handed over the coupon and the cashier 1 looks perplexed)
Cashier1: “Hey Vikram (cashier 2), how should I operate it?”
Cashier 2: “Just enter the code and follow the instruction, that’s it?
(Cashier 1 still confused and customer 1 gets impatient and so do others in queue, Cashier 2 comes and tries to take over but cashier 1 is unwilling and does not allow, so finally manager comes and resolves the problem)
Though organised retailing is getting into shape yet these problems are a daily routine where more emphasis on the training and the proper product knowledge has to be imparted for smooth operation at the billing counters.
Efficient customer service is the driving force in the cut-throat competition amongst retailers as customers have an eye for minutest detail for the store. If a customer has to wait for a long duration, it ends up making him impatient and he leaves the store without making the purchase that he came for. So as to not loose on customers, orgnaised retailers need to focus on the very aspect of training of the staff at the time of their joining. A proper programme of training should be arranged for the employees where they should be trained to handle each and every technicality of the store effectively: be it helping the customers to find their way around the store or at the billing counters. Extensive training should be given especially to those who have to work on the billing machines, as the entire process of billing requires proper knowledge or else they complicate the process. They should be properly informed about the operating procedure and should get acquainted with the machines and various other equipments. The frequency of billing procedure is also important other wise the customers may loose their patience.
All these will help build an efficient and quick work force. Superior treatment to a customer is equal to a happy customer and which in turn can be a profit generator for the store.