End-of-day chats produce retail results
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from Retail Contrarian, the blog of the Dynamic Experiences Group.
One of the most important but under utilized tools for running a successful store is the staff chat out. Some people also call it a check out. Whatever the name, it is the brief end-of-day conversation with each employee before she/he leaves for the day. There is probably no more important minute or two in your day than the chat out.
Here are three reasons you absolutely want to have a chat out with every employee, every day.
1. It adds an extra level of accountability. I once had a client who was great at coaching her team. She was always sharing new ways to engage customers and sell more. There was only one problem: she never knew if the staff actually did any of it.
We fixed that by implementing chat outs. At the end of each person’s shift she asked him/her to give two examples of how they had applied what she had wanted them to work on. In the beginning, a few people couldn’t give examples, but once they understood she would be asking every day, they were on board. Increased sales ensued.
This also works for asking about tasks, trying new skills and behaviors, customer follow-ups, sales performance, etc. The best way to utilize the chat out is to tell the person you will want to discuss a specific topic at that day’s chat out.
2. It’s an important communications tool. How many times have you had someone leave at the end of the day having forgotten to tell a colleague that a particular customer is coming in, or something essential about an ongoing task? When people are in the habit of doing a chat out, they almost always remember to share key information before leaving.
3. It’s a great opportunity to thank and praise an employee. This, to me, is the biggest benefit of a chat out. It gives you that last opportunity of the day to recognize and appreciate your staff. It only takes a few seconds to do, but the impact it has on your team (and your results) is huge.
How should retailers be optimizing end-of-day employee exits? Are “chat outs” more important at retail than other businesses?