There is an elementary component of business that few either don’t understand or never leaned.
A business only has one objective: To convince customers to give the business some of the customer’s money.
That’s it; nothing more complicated.
So the raw method used to do that is to offer a product or service that the customer can be convinced he needs. At that point the customer gives the merchant some money, and the business has achieved its goal.
Personal service that was a component of stores of the past, when they were owned by local families, was systematically removed with the advent of national chains. The public has reluctantly learned to accept that.
Here’s the compare and contrast component: It’s not so important whether a national chain’s store in Dallas alienates a customer. It would be if that store were owned by a Dallas resident.
And it is that result of the application in this instance of the Law of Large Numbers that allows those who work for and manage a national chain’s store to display an arrogant attitude toward the store’s customers. The chances are that the store’s clerk and manager won’t find their jobs in danger because of it.
That they know they’ll be there tomorrow does nothing but reinforce their bad behavior.
Customers are not interested in falling over boxes and being restricted from going down aisles in a store when it is supposed to be open for business. The shelves should be stocked on the store’s time, not the customers’ time. National stores, however, are getting more and more brazen in their displays of this bad behavior.
And if nothing else, there is no excuse for customers to be asked to wait in lines at the cash wrap counters because the manager has some of those who are trained to be cashiers, doing other less important things.
I walked out of a Staples store (501 N Plano Rd in Garland, Texas) yesterday because the cashier had let me stand in his line, only to tell me when it became my turn, that he was closed and I’d have to go to the end of one of the other two open lines, each of which had at least 5 people waiting.
I mused to myself, “If he had worked for Mr. and Mrs. Breslow (who owned a Galveston general merchandise store when I was growing up), yesterday would have been his last day on the job.
Instead by the time I got into my car to leave, he was standing on the sidewalk by the front door smoking a cigarette.
The salaries for one hour for him and the other two cashiers would have been paid in full from the profits on the merchandise I left behind. Instead, that went up in smoke along with his cigarette,
So to summarize: Your only job is to do whatever it takes to get customers to give you some of their money. Leaving boxes in aisles, having shelf stocking going on during store hours, and making check-out unmanageable, seriously interfere with that mission.
And this exact same principle applies to those of us who are real estate professionals, whether in sales, management or administration. Now might be a good time to observe and study the behavior in our offices.
BILL CHERRY, REALTORS
DALLAS – PARK CITIES