Wednesday, February 22, 2017

In One Ear and Out The Other

In one ear and out the other. How often have you thought instructions or words were just bouncing off the person you were speaking to? How many times have things been repeated over and over again and either occur again, or are never put into action at all? Sometimes it's like hitting your head against a brick wall, other times you're suffocating in a sea of "yes" that actually mean "no" or even worse, "whatever". *Sigh*

I'm usually pretty forgiving about errors, but I won't
allow things that might make a customer uncomfortable or
that might cause a customer to second-guess their shopping
experience with us. 

When mistakes are made over and over again, and they are little mistakes, or things that only impact you, it's not a big deal. When they are mistakes that impact others, it can become a big deal indeed. Did you know that most stores have a cushion of cash that they allow when closing out registers for the night? Your larger stores that have central cash-out areas or purchasing areas located within each individual department, often allow a small percentage error when settling their cash receipts at the end of the day.

Do you think about the other side of any sales transaction?
At the end of the day, that cash drawer must balance against
the register recap and the transaction terminals. 

It's a minor amount, usually 1%-2% total, but in a busy store, that small percentage can add up to $100 or more within a department or on a sales floor of your large department stores. As a small business, I insist on 100% accuracy. I don't have a cushion percentage. My allotment for error is $0 and staff pays from their own pockets if they make an error on a cash sale. Credit transaction changes are a bit more challenging.

It's common sense that the actual amount owed for any
transaction will include whatever applicable sales
tax the city or state requires. In our case, it's an add-on
of 7.265% for state, city and transportation taxes assessed
to each sale. It's automatically calculated and added to
the subtotal owed by the customer. 

Yesterday evening when I settled for the night, I was off less than $6. It's not a major amount, but it happened because my co-worker charged the credit card based on the subtotal of the sale instead of the total. That meant that the sales tax hadn't been added to the charge, even though the itemized receipt and the cash register screen would have stated the larger amount. The cash register EOD tape and the charge terminal amount collected didn't match. That was a problem.

It's not easy to make a change to a credit card charge amount. In today's world of extra security, I can't just go in and adjust the amount the way I used to be able to do many years ago. I had to phone customer service and they had to retrieve the credit card information. Then, with their assistance, I was able to change the amount charged to the correct total. The customer was charged the correct amount (the amount on their itemized sales receipt) before I settled the daily batch, but changing it was time consuming and totally unnecessary.

I hate confrontation, and I hate having to discuss things
that have been discussed before. I know what the
reaction probably will be, and I'm just NOT in the mood.
My customers come first, though. Accuracy is imperative. 

I've discussed this problem with my associate several times in the past, the last time within the past three months. Avoiding this is a simple fix - push the TOTAL key on the cash register before finalizing the sale to show the total amount owed on the screen. She didn't do that and it caused a mess. I'm hoping the customer won't be coming back asking why the amounts are different, it's embarrassing to have to explain an error like this. I don't like my customers to be uncomfortable or hesitant about any transactions they have at my store.

Something's affecting her attention span. It's time
to get her head back into the game. 

I'm upset with my co-worker. She knows better. She's worked for me for more than twenty years and has done thousands of sales. Lately her head hasn't been in the game and I'm not sure why. I guess it's time for another chat, and I'm really unhappy about having to do that. Routine can become rote. It's time to wake up.

I hope your Wednesday is fabulous and fantastic. I'm going to try and get some work done on my story for "Revolution" today. I'm within the story line, know where I want to go with it, but don't want it to be massive, so some serious changes in direction are mandated. But first, the gym and the pool. Yippee!

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