Archived GSTLs and cashier "empowerment"

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bullseyekindaguy

Former logistics/guest experience intern!
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Sep 25, 2013
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GSTLs--

How much "empowerment" do you give to your cashiers?

Some of the cashiers at my store do not believe in "doing right by the guest" and will call me over to approve something as silly as a $1 price challenge or approve a .50 cent coupon. It's extremely irritating... Why keep other guests waiting for a $1?!? What's even worse is I've had cashiers challenge me or second-guess my opinion when I tell them to go ahead just give the guest $1 or 2 off.

I've even had a cashier flat-out refuse to give a promotion that wasn't ringing up. There was a BOGO on some chips, and while it was CLEARLY stated in the circular that the chips should be Buy 3, Get one Free, the cashier REFUSED to ring up the override, even though the issue was MySupported and was eventually corrected. I had to have her suspend the transaction and perform the override myself at another register. (We even told cashiers about the issues prior, and told them to process the override!)

So GSTL's what are your guidelines for empowerments or dealing with cashiers who refuse to accept coupons... I've talked with the ETL-GE and we have some ideas... Our front-end survey scores are suffering and I'm thinking it's cashiers picking fights with couponers..
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
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Jun 9, 2011
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You might start by letting them know that their empowerment frees you up for the important matters (ie: scammers, fixes that need your override, etc). Give examples & limits while inviting them to cite circumstances they have encountered, how they could handle it, best practices, etc. Let them also know that their actions can impact the store's scores adversely & to 'choose their battles' with regards to couponers.
The cashier that refused to give a promotion/ring the override should have been coached for insubordination because she was made aware of the issue beforehand.
 
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mxrbook

Guest
It's a fine line between empowerment and giving the store away at my store. We have some cashiers who will call me over for $2. Some who will change a price by 50% without blinking an eye. And some who will 999 $750 a month which drives AP crazy.

It's always something, isn't it?
 
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The empowerment rules should be embraced by the cashier just because it seems like one of the only ways a TM can decide what to do in a situation without getting reprimanded (well as long as it's in means). I use empowerment on the salesfloor at times; if something is in the wrong spot and it's not a huge difference and the guest is nice, I'll tell them "When you bring it up, say I [pointing to my nametag] allowed you to have it for this price." A few weeks ago, there were like five $2.50 items where it said .99. At first I just moved them when she pointed them out, but I had a quick change of heart and said "You know what ma'am? I'll allow you to get two for .99." She was very happy that she said "I'll buy a box of crackers to go along with these since you were so nice."

It makes the guest feel good and it makes you feel like you did something positive in such a rigidly-ruled job.
 

GrumpyAP

Go To Six
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Jun 12, 2012
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our etl-ge has "empowered" cashiers, who can't find their ass with two hands and a map, to make up to $20 in changes without asking. the gsa's can do $50 and the gstl's can do $150 ...

as an TPS .... i find this infuriating.
 

buliSBI

Former Team Member
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Jun 17, 2011
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Will cashiers never learn. If its under $20 and the guest's price is reasonable give it to them.

One of the classic debates at my store was Dr. Pepper. Guests would claim that Dr Pepper should be on sale along with Cokes. Then others guests claim Dr Pepper should be on sale along with Pepsi. Now Mr Pibb is made by Coke. And then there are sale ads that just say Dr Pepper/7up/Sunkist.

Actually both Pepsi and Coke bottlers distribute it.

Ultimately my store would give the guest the adjusted price, so a debate wouldn't start up.
 
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If a cashier calls me over about changing a price from $10 to $9; I'm going to apologize to the guest and make it right, and have a conversation with the cashier afterwards.

Going into 4th quarter if you have 10 checklanes open, and you get called over for 2 dollar price checks you aren't going to have any time to speed weave or engage guests.
 
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My STL keeps harping on the $20 rule. My thought is that rule can't come into play if the item is $20 or less. Otherwise the guest could say it's free. But yes, I am entirely sick of my cashiers asking me if it's okay to change a price by 50 cents. Really? I don't have time for this....those carts aren't going to bring themselves in.....
 

Reneeisxena

Retired
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May 5, 2012
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As a cashier I like the empowerment. I will do my best to make the guest happy. If it's not tagged and the guest gives me a price that sounds reasonable I just accept it. I do the same with coupons, if I know they had the item but the register is giving me a hard time about it I just hit accept it and go on. Life's too short and the lines are too long to worry about a couple of dollars. Besides when guests are happy they come back and shop more.
 
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I'd say that at my store we're pretty good at having common sense. There are still a couple cashiers that are very concerned about changing prices and want the GSTLs approval on a $0.50 difference... but they're the minority when it comes to our team. We did do a lot more challenges before the "vibe" happened though... we're a super vibey store and use that as a reason to push pretty much anything reasonable though. We definitely don't let sketchy people get away with anything, but nobody's wasting time questioning gramma when she says her $4.99 dish soap should be $3.99.
 

paidtosmile

Former Team Leader
Joined
May 19, 2013
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744
Our cashiers are empowered to make any changes within $5 if they think it's appropriate. We vary slightly per cashier though, and "empower" our experienced cashiers and gstm-trained cashiers to make bigger changes. But our overall rule of thumb for cashiers is "anything under $5 is fine if you feel that the adjustment was appropriate. If you have a question, don't be afraid to ask for help." The only thing we really have to be careful with is the $5 promotional giftcards, but that's only because we've had a lot of serious issues regarding those in the past.

As far as the front end leadership goes, we can do just about anything. Our GSTL's and GSA's are all incredibly competent and logical. Our AP-TL may pull us into the office and ask about a specific override or adjustment, but it's more of a "I know you made the correct decision, I just want to know what the situation was."
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
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Jun 10, 2011
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10,148
The only thing we really have to be careful with is the $5 promotional giftcards, but that's only because we've had a lot of serious issues regarding those in the past.

At my store, we're not allowed to vibe the gift cards. Even the GSTLs won't do it. Instead, we reduce the price of the item by the amount of the gift card and key it as a price challenge so it'll show up on the PCV.
 
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The only thing we really have to be careful with is the $5 promotional giftcards, but that's only because we've had a lot of serious issues regarding those in the past.

At my store, we're not allowed to vibe the gift cards. Even the GSTLs won't do it. Instead, we reduce the price of the item by the amount of the gift card and key it as a price challenge so it'll show up on the PCV.

Anybody's store give a 5$ Target "coupon" on those items to vibe the guest? I'm wondering if what we're doing is OK, since there isn't an actual coupon involved.
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
Joined
Jun 10, 2011
Messages
10,148
The only thing we really have to be careful with is the $5 promotional giftcards, but that's only because we've had a lot of serious issues regarding those in the past.

At my store, we're not allowed to vibe the gift cards. Even the GSTLs won't do it. Instead, we reduce the price of the item by the amount of the gift card and key it as a price challenge so it'll show up on the PCV.

Anybody's store give a 5$ Target "coupon" on those items to vibe the guest? I'm wondering if what we're doing is OK, since there isn't an actual coupon involved.

We were told not to do that because it flags on an AP report or something. My GSTLs prefer to use the PCV rather than AP reports to get the message across. But that's just my store - other stores might do it.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
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The only thing we really have to be careful with is the $5 promotional giftcards, but that's only because we've had a lot of serious issues regarding those in the past.

At my store, we're not allowed to vibe the gift cards. Even the GSTLs won't do it. Instead, we reduce the price of the item by the amount of the gift card and key it as a price challenge so it'll show up on the PCV.

Oh we vibe like hell with the gift cards.
 

Nauzhror

Service Advocate, Formerly GSA
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
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2,183
I call over a GSTL/GSA most likely 2-3 times a week for anything other than a supervisor override. When I first started I was less comfortable making such decisions, but now that I've learned the position better I do my best to make it right for the guest when able, and to not wast the GSA or GSTL's time with inconsequential matters. I also usually will walk over to the service desk and grab their PDA and try and find the price myself rather than turning on my light to call over the GSA/GSTL - since anything they'd do to find the price I am just as capable of doing myself with a PDA and walkie.

As for gift cards, I am probably the only GSTM aside from the 3 trainers that just gives them the gift card if it seems reasonable.

ie. They bought 4 items, they expected to get a $5 gift card when they did so, all 4 items are the same price, but only 2 or 3 of them show mention of a gift card upon on a price inquiry - I'll just charge them $5 for a gift card, and ring up a $5 coupon to counteract the price. It's how our GSTL and GSA's do it as well.
 

Nauzhror

Service Advocate, Formerly GSA
Joined
Dec 29, 2013
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That's a weird way of doing it with a gift card & coupon. Ap maybe watching you, after a while.

Our AP TL is well aware that I do it regularly, he's never had an issue with it, though he might be more suspicious if some of the other cashiers did it as regularly as I do since I think I'm the only non GSA/GSTL he's specifically seen doing it. He is regularly at the guest service counter though since he takes a keen interest in returns and not being scammed when doing returns.
 
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