I often wonder what top executives think about when they implement a policy or a promotion to their business. Is it strictly monetary? Do they consider the customer first? Are they only looking out for the “good of the company?” It has been my observation that a lot of the times, companies fail to think about the people on the front lines.
As an associate, I have virtually no say in the policies or promotions of the company. As an associate that cares deeply about customer service, I probably “take” more control over the policies and promotions than other associates I work for. Why? Because I have a moral compass that points a different direction than most of them. Nothing makes me more upset than a company that fails to consider how a certain decision will impact the lower level in the organization. Unclear about what I am really referring to? Let me give you a general example.
As an associate, you are responsible for assisting customers with their purchases. You are responsible for being very knowledgable about your products, you are responsible for working hard to build customer loyalty, you are responsible for working hard to increase your company’s customer satisfaction rating and you are responsible for working hard to increase the sales of the company. You may be just one of the hundreds of associates at that company, but the effort you put in is noticeable and is a percentage (although it may be a small one) of your company’s success. However, sometimes I feel that associates are pushed onto the battle field.
Associates are the players for the company’s team that directly interact with the people that determines if your company wins or loses. Associates are on the front lines of battle if a policy or promotion that the top-level executives implemented makes the customer upset. For example, as an associate myself, I am often “raked over the coals” for the exclusions on the coupons, the misleading advertisements, the merchandising standards causing the store to be “cluttered”, etc. I am the person that is left to attempt to interpret the thought process behind the decisions top executives make. This is not an easy task to do because, quite frankly, I am not a mind-reader.
I understand that the executives have reasons behind their decisions. I understand that it is unrealistic to have input from all levels of the organization before making decisions. However, I do think that the bottom level should be considered. Associates should be considered when the “small print” is typed at the bottom of every coupon.
Sometimes I wonder if the CEO of company’s have worked on the front lines.
Thanks for reading!