Sunday 24 April 2016

Please Put Those Mobile Phones Away

It is illegal in all Australian states and territories to drive a motor vehicle and use a mobile phone at the same time, without some sort of hands-free arrangement. It should be illegal for traders to serve their customers and use their mobile phone at the same time.

Forget all the tales about varying multi-tasking abilities (and yes my wife can definitely think of more things at the same time than I can). There are some tasks that are so important and so thought consuming that we simply cannot compromise them with less important distractions. And what could be more important than giving all your attention to your customers? In this highly competitive retail world one of the few advantages that traders have is the way we can personalise the retail experience.

The minute a customer walks into our stall we need to be watching them. Firstly we greet them, let them know we are ready to serve, and then watch their body language. If they hesitate, look quizzical or turn towards you, that is an opening to engage. And that is difficult to do when you are looking at your phone.

And by the way, if you really feel you need to play on your phone you will be pleased to know that many customers simply won't walk into a stall where the operator is not focused on serving. That will leave you with plenty of playing time.