Monday, July 31, 2006

Yesterday's little rebellion

On my own with the Invisible Man (aka The General Manager, aka The Stud) yesterday, I lost my temper after spending most of our opening hours issuing refunds and making till changes for products that were 'on offer' but not scanning correctly.

Only at around 3:00pm with an hour of trading left did I discover that for the first time in memory some of the deals included in the offer period that ended this weekend just past were ending on the Saturday, rather than the Sunday. We had spent the Sunday trading with promotions of offers that had ended. The end date is the fine print and an argument could be mounted that the customer should have taken the time to read that fine print ... but as customer relations go, giving prominence on the shelves to offers that have lapsed is a bit of a fiasco as I can testify after a day of dealing with the frustrated to down-right livid.

We had been offering lots of deals on ice-creams and related frozen confectionary lines: half of the promo. flyers had to come off, but had to stay on. Then I phoned the GM (who was skulking in his office)and told him what I'd done expecting to have to argue a defence for having committed such an outrageously unilateral and independent act. Instead I got stunned silence followed by a request that I repeat.

Did no one higher up the food chain bother to point out the unprecedented end date of some offers? If they didn't were they expecting to rely on the "read the fine print" argument. Belatedly I had someone go round the rest of the store ripping off the out-of-date offer signage. Probably cost us some measurable percentage of our profits and blame hasn't yet been apportioned.

I'll get it in the neck for the refunds and the till adjustments, but I'll be expected to blame the AGM who was supposed to be managing the offers, who in her turn will also get it in the neck from the AGM will lash out at the shop floor staff who fail to manage their sections with sufficient care and everyone will blame the system and the higher life forms who leave us to swing in the breeze.

In the grand scheme of things this was just small change, but as a vignette it illustrates perfectly the sundry minor failings that mount up to constitute a failing internal system and a collosal leakage of staff moral and customer goodwill.


Post a Comment

<< Home