I’ve been preaching this point for a number of years.
What is important to you is what you will focus on in your store.
We have always been a prompt store. We close at 6:00pm, but we turn out half the lights at 5:55pm and start the process of closing down cash registers while customers are still in the store. We often have the doors locked and are clearing out before the last car has left the parking lot.
Yeah, deep down I know that we are not giving our best customer service at this time because the appearance is that we are in a hurry to leave. Yet, we’ve always done it this way.
Then it dawned on me.
My mom is all about being on time. She still gives me grief for being born a day late. Says I’ve been late ever since. Promptness is one of her Core Values. She lives the Shakespeare quote, “Better three hours too early than one minute too late.” She got this trait from her mom, who with my grandpa founded Toy House.
For forty-four years prior to my arrival, this was one of the dominating traits of the people in charge and it became our method of operation. We open on time (or early) and we close on time.
Period. Unquestioned. Customer Service be damned.
Your store is an extension of you and what you believe. It is an extension of your values. Your policies and your procedures reflect what you hold dear. Whether you do it consciously or subconsciously.
All I ask is that you do it consciously.
PS I work hard to push the idea that the last customer of the day gets the same wonderful service as the first customer of the day. But perception is reality. We could very well be undoing all the good we did servicing the customer by being in such a hurry to close up.