When I write articles about Sensormatic labels or theft prevention I sometimes have to catch myself not using Loss Prevention terminology. The same can be true when I am asked to train a new employee. I will sometimes ask that person if they have retail experience so I have an idea how simplistic I have to be when instructing the employee. Language can be a barrier in many things even when we speak the same language. There are times in retail when we have to be able to interpret what a customer is saying to us. I have had someone looking around our store and seemed to be looking for something specific. I ask if I can assist and they say I don’t know what it’s called but I need such and such and they begin to try to describe it. The other day a customer tried to describe to me an attachment he wanted for his computer to hook it up to his router. It required me to really have to decipher what he was trying to tell me he wanted. Eventually I figured out he wanted a wireless adapter for his computer. It was a task but it was worth the time I spent because he did make the purchase. Had I not spent the time the patron would have left without making a purchase and the store would have lost the sale. Using terminology appropriate to an audience is an important aspect of retail and I would include Loss Prevention in that when discussing how to stop shoplifting.
Think of some jargon you use when training a new employee in a store. Do you revert to acronyms and talk about a POS (point of sale) or do you talk about a UPC (universal price code)? Maybe you jump into training and talk about endcaps, wings, gondolas or zoning and forget to define what these are. Your new employee gives you that glazed look but you don’t pick up the unspoken signals they are giving that should tell you they are lost. Yes, even unspoken signals are a type of language all their own. Right or wrong you are expected to pick up on them. When I would speak to a new Loss Prevention Associate I had to explain the difference between anti-theft devices. Sensormatic labels are much different than Sensormatic hard tags. They provide different levels of security while both operate on an electronic article surveillance system. Which brings me to Loss Prevention acronyms. We use PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom cameras), perp (perpetrator), and some may use NPI (non-productive incident) for a bad stop. We sometimes forget that new people don’t know what we take for granted. We assume what they don’t know they will pick up on in due time. Shame on us. As managers and trainers we owe it to our new employees to speak in language they understand. If I expect to train managers in stores with no Loss Prevention department about how to stop shoplifting I have to clarify terms familiar to me. BOB (Bottom of Basket), LISA (Look InSide Always), PETER (Pass Everything Through Every Time) are acronyms I and many in big box retail know. But not every manager is going to know what they mean and they will start looking around for these people. If we are going to train new employees using acronyms or jargon, we have to define the meaning of the words so our employees/managers will be successful.
If I want to train your managers on protecting merchandise against theft using electronic article surveillance I need to talk about how Sensormatic labels are applied to merchandise. I don’t want it slapped on to goods. I want branding to be right and I don’t want to cover warning labels or manufacturer labels if possible. I am going to demonstrate how to put a Sensormatic hard tag on and why it needs to be placed consistently. Put a clothing tag wherever you feel like placing one and cashiers are going to take longer to remove tags or a large number of false alarms are going to occur. I will demonstrate how to test a Sensormatic system, troubleshoot minor problems and how remote monitoring can often prevent the need for service calls. Finally, if I am training your managers I am going to teach them how a proper response to a Sensormatic alarm can improve the chance of recovering unpaid merchandise and stop shoplifting.
Knowing how to speak the language of an audience can be helpful in much of what we do in retail. From customer service to training to loss prevention the right words and ability to read body language can influence how well the store performs. Build stronger teams and client relations through better communication.
Need information on Sensormatic labels? Give us a call at 1.866.914.2567 now.