Is Smiling a Safe Way to Treat Safeway Customers?



















The significance of a good service is very difficult to overestimate. The analysis of the problematic situation that took place in a Safeway supermarket will show if all standard instructions applying to customer service are appropriate in every situation. It is necessary to highlight several recommendations about what should be done to establish friendly attitude to customers avoiding misunderstanding and possible consequent harassment.

The process of attribution applied to the current situation can be observed in the following way. One should bear in mind that the process of attribution could be divided into three stages. According to Attribution theory, first step is to observe the behavior of the individual. Then, it must be clarified if the actions of a person have been intended. And the third step is to determine the causes of the behavior: if they are internal or external. It is the task of a manager to supervise employees’ performance and to make judgments. It was analyzed if the clerks working at a Safeway supermarket were demonstrating wrong behavior or the policy of the company it would fail to get the desirable effect. The process of attribution requires critical judgment which was executed by the Safeway officials. The latter conducted experiments used undercover shoppers to study the employees’ behavior.

Studying the situation in the Safeway supermarket, one can conclude that training on friendliness is a necessary measure for the personnel. Being nice to customers in a commonsense rule, it is hard to overestimate its positive role in the world of trade. Clerks’ friendliness is a necessary condition that ensures good service that is the way to win customer loyalty. It may be only an assumption, but it is quite logical that employees should be trained on how to be friendly and at the same time not to look flirting. The staff must be aware of the differences between a common flirt and a high rate of service; otherwise the incompetent behavior of personnel will undoubtedly cause harassment from the customers’ side. It would be very practical if the “Smile School” included this aspect into the training program provided by the school.

In order to improve the employees’ performance, it is advisable to warn those workers’, whose behavior does not meet the requirements of the company. The employees should be informed about the existing problem and be aware that it is important to fulfill the manager’s requirements as to the relations between clerk and a customer. The warning letter may contain some strong recommendations concerning changing behavior in order to improve the clerk’ performance and avoid fining. The manager could also inform the employee about some kind of reward for those clerks whose results show positive changes.

The situation within the company requires certain changes. Unsatisfied customers are the worst thing the company could have; the next question is how to make customers satisfied. Employees should understand the importance of smiling and being friendly for the arrangement of good relations with customers. The important role of smile is proved by many people. Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, emphasizes the ability of a smile to solve conflicts and show that the employee is eager to help.

As the experience of “smile policy” has shown, both extremes – being too friendly and too surly – are unacceptable. If the workers are trained to behave in a way that looks like assisting and by no means flirting, the happy medium will be achieved. Every employee should acknowledge the difference between friendliness and flirt. The right approach to customer treating will definitely bring positive changes, such as customer’s loyalty. Showing empathy is one of the key steps for winning customer’s loyalty and, therefore, advises to pay attention to the emotions of the customer and reflect them. Timm also approves that there is the need in constant training for the personnel in order to achieve the best results.

The situation when customers make the staff hide is far from a norm and demonstrates that there is something wrong in clerks’ actions. For example, according to instructions, they need to keep eye contact for three seconds. This recommendation is quite clear because it is a well-known fact that avoiding eye contact can be interpreted as unfriendliness and looks suspicious. However, it makes a significant difference, what kind of look a person gives. Usually, people do not confuse a friendly look with seducing fire in a person’s eyes; therefore, it is unlikely that being polite will lead to harassment from the clients’ side.

Policies used by the Safeway supermarket, such as using undercover shoppers to catch the clerks who do not adhere to instructions, can be efficient.. This method can detect the employees who do not meet the company’s demands. It is important to make the employee realize the problem and try to correct the mistakes. Special trainings could be worth performing if a person does not understand how to behave professionally, but friendly. A wise manager would think of some way of encouraging the stuff to be nice to customers. For instance, a rating of friendly clerks can be introduced following with some reward given to the winners.

The situation in the Safeway supermarket revealed a conflict between the policies implemented by the company and staff whose fulfilling the company instructions led to unexpected and unpleasant consequences. One of the measures suggested by the company was obligatory attending of “Smile School,” which can be approved because friendly attitude is important for customer service while some people may not be able to behave in a friendly way without looking flirting.

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Started by Hallie Green at September 08, 2019 - 11:01 PM