How do our actions every day express all of these keys, and always in this order?
Every policy and procedure can be summarized by the four keys to the store. Every decision and every action must be guided by these, and two other thoughts.
1. Tell the truth. It will always be the right thing to do.
2. Treat every person the way you wish to be treated yourself.
Here’s a look at things that are in our mind when we are trying to help you. Perhaps knowing our point of view would make your transaction more enjoyable and efficient
Every decision and action by every staff member is driven by four keys: 1. Safety, 2. Service, 3. Sale, 4. Efficiency. They are always in that order. We give each others small awards called “One of These” that I named after an old Rodney Dangerfield routine. When we see a co-worker exemplifying these keys, (plus extra hard effort, exceptional creativity, and great suggestions) we give them a note telling them “attaboy” and put a copy on the lunchroom wall. Every month, during a Sunday morning training class, we highlight the best ones and give away restaurant gift certificates to two winners. On a given month, we will have between 40 and 80 individual awards. Gift certificate winners are listed near Register One. Want to know more? Ask us to show you.
What does that mean to you? The simple answer is that if you want to reward any staff member for exceptional customer service, tell another staff member about it. He or she will write a “One of These” for the co-worker, and I’ll get a copy that goes in their personnel file. Everyone reads it on the wall, it might be used as an example to others, and it might get someone a night out on me and Jeanne.
More complex is understanding the four keys. It means that Safety is always listed first. If you want us to tell you how to change a pump or spa so you don’t have to use the legal electric connection, it isn’t going to happen. Even if you feel that’s bad service, we can’t get past the safety.
Now let’s say there is no safety issue, and we can sell you a new pump or tell you what store to go to, to get parts to fix your old one. Service is before Sale, so we send you to the other store for the parts.
Efficiency as it impacts speedy customer service is up at the top because it’s really Service. Efficiency as it impacts our saving money and cutting overhead, is on the list, but on the bottom after making the Sale.
So, let’s say we’re trying to help you choose a solution to a pool problem. Our first solution will be what we think is best. You disagree. If it’s a safety issue, we will continue to point out the safest method until you leave or give in. Let’s say you disagree, but it’s not over safety. We will maintain our position one more time, because we initially think that giving you our best advice is providing the best service. However, if you still disagree, we will realize that what you want for service is to get what you want.
At this point, we stop talking to you and give you what you want (note, staff does not have to agree with you or pretend to do so—just stop talking). We have just given you the service you want, made the sale, and made efficient use of time by not continuing the discussion. Now what does this mean to you? Expect all of us to always provide for your safety and service before thinking about making the sale or saving money. However, we are a store, not a church. Staff is encouraged to tell you what they truly believe, but no one is allowed to try and talk you into that. Give us two chances to do what we think is best, and we’ll be happy to go along with whatever you want.
“We love our pool, products and help of everyone at Seasonal’s. Thanks for being there for us, and helping us enjoy hot summer days.”
“Dennis and Jeanne, you have integrity and I have recommended your store to friends and others.”
Mary, Nashua, NH