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How You Treat Your Team is How Your

Team Treats Your Customers!

Everything is Top Down in your Business. How you treat your executive team and managers is how your managers treat your front line staff, and in turn how your front line staff treats your customers.

There is a grocery store close to where I live and I have come to accept that the staff are not very helpful or friendly.

I prefer using the self-check-out kiosks because it is easier than dealing with the cashiers, who don’t take the time to bag your groceries anyway.

Now I could get annoyed at the staff, but I understand that it is really a management issue – who they hire, how they train and manage them, and how the managers treat the staff.

But it goes higher than that too. It has more to do with the corporate focus and how the executives choose, train, manage and treat the store managers that determine the culture in the actual stores.

I have tested this out by going to other grocery stores in the chain, and yes the poor experience is consistent.

So why do I shop at this store? Well they have done a good job setting up a bright environment, they have a selection of natural and organic products and the store is about 5 minutes from my house.

Mostly I have figured out how to be self-sufficient and get what I need while shopping.

However they do not get all of my business. I have found a small grocery store about 30 minutes away from where I live: Organic Garage – Healthier Food For Less (good impact statement!).

I generally make the trip at least a couple of times a month. It is set up as a small town shopping experience with helpful staff, free coffee and a great selection of local, natural, organic and healthy produce and products.

Now I like the selection and it is the type of food I like to purchase but it is the atmosphere and shopping experience that keeps me coming back regularly despite the 30 minute drive.

Why is this important? If the chain grocery store understood that everything is Top Down and they changed their focus in hiring, training and managing managers and employees they could make a significant different to their volume and bottom line.

They are losing profit every time they annoy a customer or are not helpful with finding items in the store.

I would certainly shop there more if they made a change.

How does this apply to your business?

How your front line staff interacts with your customers is an integral component of how your customers experience your business.

It is important that you train your team HOW to create a consistent ON Brand Customer Experience (an important concept that is covered in Module Three of The Profit Generator ProgramClick here for more details)

And as the Owner along with your managers you need to DEMONSTRATE how you want your team to interact with your customers by treating your staff the same way you want them to treat your customers – with respect and an ON Brand experience.

Applying This to Your Business:

  1. Identify the experience you want to create with your customers.
  2. Brainstorm and role-play with your team on HOW to create the consistent ON Brand experience with your customers that is aligned with what your business offers.
  3. As the owner and with your managers determine what you can do to DEMONSTRATE the same experience in your interactions with your team that you want your team to create with your customers.
  4. Set up weekly team huddles that are 15 to 20 minutes long that keep your team engaged and informed.

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*Comic titled “Retail” published in The Toronto Star on April 26th, 2011