Blog

INSIGHT

How the Best Local Businesses Get the Most out of Their Employees

In business, hiring the right person is like winning the lottery. Leadership is everything – those with it succeed, and those without it falter.

That’s why a baseball team could lose 100 games one season, hire the right coach, and then win 100 games the following season. It explains why a classroom with poor test scores could drastically improve once their teacher is replaced with someone more capable.

Chemistry and communication are the secret ingredients behind these sharp turnarounds. Leaders push the right buttons and motivate their followers to perform past their potential, then they unify their team members together under a unified goal, achieving greater overall success for their local businesses as a result. It’s that simple, really.

My goal in writing this blog is to teach you a few tricks to help you push your employees to that next level, particularly when it comes to handling customer payments. Who knows, you might be just a few tweaks away from massive growth and higher profit margins, all thanks to the boom in productivity your leadership will inspire.

 

Train and Educate Your Cashiers

NEVER assume anything – not in business, not in life.

What does that have to do with handling payments? A lot, actually. Your cashiers handle customer credit cards and cash. They’re in charge of your register, your POS system, your receipt printers, the physical exchange of goods…anything having to do with transactions falls under their responsibility.

But what happens when your cashier doesn’t accurately reconcile your end-of-day register balance? What if they accidentally overcharge a customer and the customer later files a chargeback? What if you install a new POS system inside your business, only to find out that your cashiers are having trouble adjusting to the new technology.

Don’t assume – be proactive! During training, take your time teaching new hires how to reconcile cash and batch process at day’s end. Create a protocol of procedures that each cashier must follow, so you reduce the chance that a transaction is processed incorrectly (more on this in a second). And never ever assume your employees will “eventually figure out” a new POS system; carve out time to guide them through the new system’s features and how it works.

It all comes down to efficiency. When your cashiers are adept at what they do, checkout will run smoothly, and you’ll be able to serve more customers per day thanks to how quickly you can complete transactions at the register.

 

Establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Human error causes the majority of checkout debacles and money mismanagement. As the leader of your business, your job is to prevent as many of these mishaps as possible. It’s time for you to establish your business’s SOPs – or standard operating procedures.

SOPs are essentially rules and directives that your employees must follow when completing a specific task. Just now I talked about creating a protocol for cashiers to follow every time they accept card payment. But what does this look like?

Let’s stick with our above example but with a twist: you also have to notify the customer about your cash discount program (only if your business opts to run a cash discount program). How might that look?

  1. Scan all items in the customer’s cart
  2. Explain how the cash discount program works to the customer
  3. Ask the customer if they’re paying with cash or card
  4. Face the EMV terminal toward the customer and prompt them to enter their card
  5. Walk the customer through each step of the transaction
  6. Print the customers receipt
  7. Double check the receipt to make sure the customer has been charged correctly
  8. Hand the receipt and goods to the customer and send them off with a smile!

Obviously your procedure for accepting cards might differ from our example. Still, the point stands: your employees are less likely to commit costly crucial errors if you clearly lay out their responsibilities, step by step.

 

Stick Employees to Specific Roles

Bruce Lee was a wise man, but perhaps his most famous saying was “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” That sounds cool, but what does it mean? And how does it apply to business?

Simply put, a specialist is better than a generalist. An employee who can do one thing extremely well will perform better than an employee who can do a lot of things at an average-to-mediocre level. Your business will boom when you hire a team of specialists, rather than just pawning off 95% of the work to a handful of people.

Think of it like this. Do you want one person working the register, balancing your books, cleaning your facility, managing your social media, and handling your billing? Probably not. That’s a lot to put on one person. You don’t want to put your money – the most important thing to accurately keep track of – in the hands of someone with too many tasks to give it the proper attention.

I get it, a lot of new businesses don’t have the capital to hire many team members, and most of their day-to-day business operations are handled by a few core team members. You should still prioritize dividing up tasks as much as you can. Hire an accountant to balance your books, cashiers that strictly work the front register, and a marketing consultant that only worries about running your Facebook ads.

It might take a while to afford specialists, but it’s well worth it if you’re looking to increase productivity across the board. Your employees won’t just perform better– they’ll be happier and less stressed out at work too.

 

Your business shouldn’t have to overpay for the right to accept credit card payments. Click here to request a free merchant statement analysis and see if you’re being charged more than you should be.