Self Checkouts Offend Me
March 5, 2013 13 Comments
Today I made the trek with my Dad to Home Depot. Only they carry the furnace filter he needed. We found it of course, but what did we find when it came time to check out? Well, I’ll tell you.
Not one single manned checkout was open. I am sure I have ranted about this in the past, and I am going to again right now. Grrrr.
Only the “self checkouts” were open. Do you know what that tells me, the consumer? That I am not worthy of an Associates attention. I, the customer, the reason why you, the soul less Corporation makes money and generates profit, feels that I, the customer is not worth your time and consideration. That is the impression I was given today by your location.
There were 4 self checkout stands. That is 4 potential Associate positions. Or 8 of them if you fill both shifts. That is 8 potential jobs. How many stores does Home Depot have? Maybe 2,000 or more? So say that each store has 4 self checkout stands, that would equal out to an additional 16,000 jobs and Associates company wide.
Now imagine the self checkout stands in all other stores. Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Grocery Stores, etc. How many 100′s of thousands of jobs would that generate, simply by eliminating these offensive checkouts? These self checkouts are telling you the customer, you are not worthy of an Associate. We don’t care enough about you to give you a human face before you leave our store. The checkout Associate is the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN EVERY STORE!
Why is that? Because it is the human face of the Corporation. They are the one person that every single customer comes into contact with. They are also the lowest paid person in the company. The worst treated by both the company and the customer. It is that Associates job to ensure that you had an enjoyable shopping experience in the store, and that yes, you will desire to come back again. If you are unhappy, they can attempt to rectify it at that point. They are also responsible for up-selling products. Adding onto your purchases. Thereby generating even more profits for the soulless Corporation.
When I was running and training stores, I spent a great deal of time on just how to handle the customer transaction. I had a 6 point checklist of things you should always do. And yes, my former Employees, I still remember these things, word for word. Here it is.
- Always smile and be friendly to the Client(customer is such a dirty word to me). Make them feel as though they are the only Client in the world(even if there are 100 of them in line). It can and has been done, at least by every single one of MY Associates, Assistants and Managers in Training.
- Always ask the Client if they found everything they were looking for. Is there anything else I may help you find?
- Always ask the Client if they are interested in the Little Debbie Cherry or Apple Pies, located on the counter.
- Always offer the Client the opportunity to use relevant coupons in the weekly/monthly flyer if they did not have, or were not aware of them.
- Always place the bags into the Clients cart for them, NEVER should a client have to do it themselves. If they choose to, so be it.
- Always count back the change to the Client, and HAND them the money. DO NOT EVER place the money onto the counter.
- Lastly, Always offer to assist the Client to their vehicle with their purchases.
Smiling and being friendly is such a lost art today, why? As I said, the checkout Associate is the worst treated and most stepped on Employee of the company, guaranteed. They are not appreciated, by Management or Clients, and are treated with even more contempt than you would traditionally treat a piece of dog poo on your shoe. I have seen it, experienced it myself back in the day, and see it today when I go through a checkout.
I appreciated my checkout Associates, and their attitudes and demeanor towards the Clients reflected that. The next three points were about helping the Client find everything, and suggesting an additional item to purchase. There is a reason why our store had the #1 transaction amount/per item amount and highest sales per Client foot traffic in the Division. I was not privy to the company wide stats. Our Division however had more than 1,000 stores… I will let you make your own conclusions… Yes, the ‘Zilla was damn good.
Each of the last points was to cement the Clients good feelings about the store and our staff. Another thing missing from any store that uses these self checkout machines. Do you think a machine asks you if you found everything during your visit? Can it ask you if you need batteries, a Little Debbie pie, or something else that connects with what you purchased? Of course not. Can that machine verify that you paid for everything you purchased? No.
Today I witnessed someone steal some product right past the self checkout. From a Loss Prevention standpoint, these are an absolute travesty. Was there anyone around for me to alert that I saw this person swiping stuff without checking it out? Of course not. And I for damn sure was not going to hunt an Employee down to tell them, since they should have been there to begin with.
Ugh, so to close this rant, self checkout stands are evil, the bane of human existence, and a way for soulless Corporations to downsize good honest people. The only way to eradicate this evil is for us Clients(or customers if you prefer) to stand up and never use the self checkout lines. Demand that a human being checks you out. Save someone’s job, and maybe add a few to your local economies. We must hold the line here people! To quote a great bear, poorly I might add…”Only you can prevent further job loss….” -Smokey Bear Thank you for stopping by.