Retail Question – Did You Find Everything?

Asking the question because I am curious and I am sure someone will know this off the top of their head.

Thinking about big box retail.  Some checkout clerks ask did you find everything you were looking for?  Some don’t.

If they ask the question and you say yes, they will actually take the time to have someone find that item and ring it up for you.

Is it really economically profitable based on that one extra item to make the checker wait?

What am I missing?

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Telling Your Customer’s Story – Don’t Be Luke Skywalker

Be Obi-Wan Kenobi, not Luke Skywalker

As a company or a product, our story doesn’t really matter to our customers.  The customer does not care who our founders are or why they created the company.

The customer wants to feel like their story is important.  Listen to your customer, make them feel like Luke Skywalker.

Jimmy Fritz the CEO of KennedyBlue.com

At the Sioux Falls Innovation Expo

Chains Raise The Quality of Whole Industries

This is a great article about the value of substitutes in different industries.  As a product manager you should always thinking about what products are a substitute or a compliment to your product.  Even if the primary substitute is non-consumption, how do you have to build your product to get people off their couch and to make them take an action.

It is worth remembering that many unfashionable large businesses create value in ways that are often under-appreciated. No one will ever write gushingly about McDonald’s or Starbucks or PremierLodgeExpress. But what these large chains do is valuable, even if you never use them. They effectively raise what I call the ‘threshold of crappiness’ in the sectors in which they operate. To operate successfully as a coffee shop or a sandwich bar or hotel (or a minicab firm), you have to be at least as good as a chain or else you fail. This raises the bar for everyone. You can get better coffee in a truckstop now than at Claridge’s in 1990.

Spectator

Asking The Right Questions To Build Strategic Relationships

Here is a great article from HBR about starting a new job or just trying to cultivate collaborative relationships:

During your first month in a company, take time to ask your boss these questions:

-How do you prefer to give and receive feedback and be kept informed?

-What are your most important goals for the year, and how do they fit into the company’s strategic objectives?

-What are the two to three most critical accomplishments I need to achieve within a year, and how will they be measured?

-What should I accomplish in the next six months?

-In what specific ways can I help you succeed?

Harvard Business Review

Elephant Question – How to Find Entrenched Problems

This is a great article on how to be a patient change agent:

  • People don’t like hearing that entrenched problems are “totally fixable” (none of us do — not just those “other” people).
  • To you, the fix is “common sense”, but to outsiders it may be counterintuitive.
  • By definition, a problem that remains entrenched is not “totally fixable” (without a change in context, actors, intent, etc.) On paper it may be fixable. In context, it is not.

At a minimum, ask someone:

Can you describe an elephant in the room that I will quickly encounter, will think is totally fixable, but will be wrong? Why is the status quo difficult to change?

Hacker Noon

Bad Management is Sabotage

Middle managers, especially, can get in on the act. Those with white-collar jobs should pontificate, flip-flop, and take every decision into committee, says a section on ‘General Interference with Organizations and Production.’ “Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible,” the OSS advises. Promote bad workers and complain about good ones. “Haggle over precise wordings… Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.”

-CIA Sabotage Field Manual

From Atlas Obscura.