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Suzi Shopper: What I Learned at the Long Line at the POS

Suzi Shopper: Thoughts on business from a consumer’s perspective

I was in a shoe store this past weekend, one of the self-service ones at an outlet mall. As an aside, I was pleased to be greeted several times by employees on the floor offering assistance. But that’s not what this blog is about.

Anyway, I quickly found what I needed—shoes that would work with my dress and my swollen ankle (you still gotta look good regardless of injury, right?)—I had a wedding to attend and needed to get going.  

Then, when I got to the Point of Sale, everything ground to a halt. There was one cashier working, and she was signing up a new customer for the store’s loyalty program during the checkout process. I couldn’t blame the customer—according to the signs in the store, it looked like a good program. However, I did take issue with this: The enrollment process took way too long, and much more disconcertingly, the enrollment process required the customer to provide personal information in front of the people waiting in line who had nothing better to do than to listen to her answers. Yikes!

Being short on patience and well aware there were other employees roaming the floor, I ushered one over to open a second register. Why didn’t the other cashier make a call over the intercom to bring more help, or better yet, why wasn’t a manager paying attention? But I digress: What concerns me more was the loyalty program signup process. I’m all for them, but stores need to have a more efficient, more sensitive way of handling them. 

What’s your process for ensuring lines don’t back up at your POS? More importantly, what’s your process for signing up customers for your loyalty program? Does it protect their personal information? Does it keep your POS from backing up?