What gifts are you giving this Christmas?
Is cash really the easy way out? Does it really say that no thought was given to the type of present a person would want? Or...does it actually say the opposite?
How many unwanted toiletry sets, dodgy pairs of socks or BAAAAD bottles of wine will you be giving out or receiving this year?
Gift vouchers are fine but depending on the type of voucher, your recipient could be limited to spending it in certain stores. Do you have the confidence to tell your family and friends what they need or want? Are you making it more awkward for them by giving them a gift that forces them to go to a specific place?
Personally, I don’t think cash is a cop out at all.
If I knew exactly what a person would like, I would buy that. If I knew exactly what store a person liked to shop in, I might give that person a gift voucher for that shop. If I wasn’t sure what that person wanted or already had or was likely to get from other people, I would absolutely give them cash. To me that says I care enough and I am being practical enough to allow them to choose something they really want.
Yes, I might give them a token gift along with the cash because it is nice to have a gift to unwrap on the big day but it would be something inexpensive and maybe a little funny or nostalgic like a soap on a rope (are they still a thing?), a framed picture or a box of those soft jellies that tasted like sugar and poison that your nanny used to get from everyone (urgh!).
Whatever your opinion is on cash as a gift, it stands to reason that there is definitely going to be more cash circulating in January. What better way to spend all of those crisp gift notes than by grabbing yourself a bargain in the January sales. You’d swear it was planned!
As a business owner, now is the time to make sure your cash handling processes are robust enough not to become a major pain point for your staff over the next few weeks.
With a few simple checks and changes you can improve efficiencies, increase security and free up time for your staff to focus on SURPRISING and DELIGHTING your customers this January.
January is traditionally a bit of a mad one. People expect shops to be packed, staff to be run off their feet, shelves to be a little messy, stores a little disorganised. You really have to take a deep breath and mentally prepare yourself before hitting the sales.
What if that didn’t have to be the case? YOUR store could be the oasis of calm that everyone needs in the madness of the month. Happy smiling staff, organised, well stocked shelves and maybe even a little something extra to make your customers smile?
I was in a chemist the other day that seemed to have it absolutely handled. They were actually a customer of ours and had spent some time a couple of years ago getting their processes, cash and otherwise, into order. Everything worked like clockwork but the key with this particular store was that they didn’t rest on their laurels. They built regular reviews into their management meetings and as their business and customer needs evolved, so did their cash management processes.
On this particular day, which was wet and miserable, an obviously stressed lady arrived in to collect a prescription with her small son who was crying for some unknown reason. Although the pharmacy was busy, everyone was being looked after in the correct order and the girl behind the counter was calm and unflustered. She immediately noticed that the little boy was upset and asked him what was wrong. He couldn’t reply as he was crying so hard so she asked him if a lollipop would help. He shook his head. So she asked him if he would like to test one out to see if it helped. She went and got a selection of different colours for him to choose from which finally got a tentative smile and a hiccup.
I and two other customers overheard the exchange and we all left the store smiling. The boy’s mother was obviously relieved and the tension melted from her face as soon as her son started smiling. THIS is the type of customer service that changes a person’s day for the better and promotes customer loyalty. THIS is the type of customer service every business owner should be striving for.
If your staff don’t have time to look after your customers like this, then it’s time to do something about it.
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