Problem: A few days ago, while shopping with my wife in a well-known retail store, my attention was drawn to an obviously suspicious acting customer who was in the process of folding and then placing multiple pieces of merchandise in an empty “competitor retailer’s” bag. (As a side note, this competitor’s store was not located within the same mall as the store we were in.)
Only a few steps away within the very same area was a salesperson who was busy restocking a fixture. Not once did this employee pay any attention to either my wife and I or the suspicious acting “customer”.
Well, I was not about to let that potential thief leave with a bag filled with merchandise, so I used that old technique of simply moving to an advantage point where I could peer around the corner, make eye contact with the suspect, and send a clear message that she had been spotted by someone most likely employed by the store. As expected, the suspect placed the bag filled with the goods under a clothes rack, and without any hesitation made a bee-line for the store’s exit. (I notified a supervisor about what had just occurred.)
The employee continued with her restocking job—oblivious to what had just taken place.
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Solution: Encourage employees to use a few basic customer service techniques to both increase sales and prevent shoplifting.
As for the above theft-related incident, a simple customer service acknowledgement and offer to assist the customer, followed by “let me know when you need help; I’ll keep my eye on you” is a great tool to prevent shoplifting—and would have easily worked in this situation. $