Back to Safeway this morning… Rule #1: Never go to Safeway if you’re in a hurry. Especially in the morning. They’ve got this one person working at the checkout in the morning. He’s usually the only checker. They operate under the if-a-line-forms-call-for-help method, which occasionally works if the checkers calls for help at the first sign of a long line. They’re not the only ones who do this, but it rarely works as the checker never calls until the line is 20 people long and everyone is getting all huffy. And don’t even talk about banks; they won’t add a teller no matter how many people are in line, out the door, standing in the rain. So this particular checker is close to the worst checker ever. Slow, nervous, never calls for help until it’s way too late or until another worker discovers a line and tells them to call (usually with an added lecture about calling for help when the line backs up). I guess once you get a job as a checker at Safeway you’re in for life, no matter how bad you might be. Unhappy customers? Who cares about the customers?
Rule #2: Don’t expect to get the coffee you want. They have a little self-serve coffee bar. The menu shows about six different varieties of coffee. You usually have one choice, maybe two. It’s never the choice you want.
Customer service, inventory management, they’re part of Operations. Training employees on proper procedures, and making sure that the process and procedures work to achieve organizational goals, are a big part of Operations. Managing inventory and providing excellent service are part of Operations. But who’s actually in charge of ensuring your operations are effective? Somebody has to take ownership. Somebody has to take responsibility. If you know a procedure is broken, fix it or make sure it gets fixed. If you know someone isn’t fulfilling their job responsibilities, help them improve or make sure someone with responsibility and authority helps them. If you don’t have the inventory to satisfy your customers, improve the inventory system.
Why should customers be happy? Because without happy customers you won’t have a successful business.