Archived Register help buttons and flashing lane lights: what's the point?

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Ok...I'm only being slightly serious with the title of this, but you should get my drift.

I'm coming to realize that the help menu on the register is more for decorative purposes than anything else. Only once have I done the request change through it and actually gotten the change without first having to flag down my GSTL/GSA. I am learning to live with that.

But anytime I need assistance with a customer? I dread having to find it. First, 9 times out of 10, it tells me the message can't go through and I need to flip on my lane light. Is this standard? If it does go through, I have a 75% chance of someone coming. This turns out to be my best odds.

If it doesn't go through, if I flip on the lane light, I have about a 25% chance of someone coming. The other 75%, I have to either find someone with a walkie or apologize to the customer, leave my register and either find someone to help me or go over to guest services and have them walkie someone for me.

Is this really how it works in other stores? It's absolutely maddening. I continually hope that customers with issues go to other registers because, frankly, it's embarrassing.
 
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Pickup up phone call 236 or 369 (What ever guest services number is). If Gsa isn't around.those help functions don't work at our store but keeping one walkie at the front end is a huge help. I know how you feel being up at a lane with no money or needing something and hopefully the guest is patient.
 
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Hi Retail Girl,

I know your frustration since I work guest services and the front lanes.

Register Change Requests are monitored by the Guest Service (GS) team member. Unfortunately there is nothing (like a flashing light) to tell GS that there is a request unless whoever is in charge checks a GS register for change requests which gets delayed because he/she forgets to check periodically or their too busy serving guest. I've yet to see what good the lane light does...maybe it should be a different color than the standard light that can trigger required attention.

Supervisor Overrides at the register are another pain. Tracking down a Team Lead of any sort can be a search for the Holy Grail and it does get annoying to our guest.

What is frustrating working Guest Services (which is my main assignment) is that depending on who is the GSTL for the shift a walkie to request register backup, carryouts, etc or keys to fill change requests may not be given to the team member assigned to guest services. NOW you have the Cashier and the GS team member searching for the GSTL while the guest is reaching their boiling point.

It would be nice to consistently have the tools that we need to do our jobs so we can really be FAST, FUN and FRIENDLY.
 
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As a GSA I can tell you that my LPDA often logs me out with no warning at random times, so the odds that an alert won't go through are 50/50! A flashing lane light, whether it is "best practice" or not, is often the most effective way to get help. Another option is to call 0 for the store operator and have them call GSA/GSTL on the walkie to your lane. If the GSA is helping another guest or stuck on a lane/guest service for back-up, they can call the LOD for help with blinkers.
 

Rock Lobster

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You guys have brought up my hot button lol....

The reason the help menu and alert system is around is to promise a fast and QUIET checkout... If you follow best practice for the checklanes, you place your registers staggered or every other so that guests don't hear every transaction around them... and you don't use blinkers or some sort of jerry rigged phone system to call the GSTL because the guests can see or hear there is a problem, and they shouldn't know! Not only does the help menu keep us quiet for the guests (guest needs a carry out, cashier hits the carry out alert button, and a cart attendant shows up... the guest doesn't even hear a word!)... but it makes us look streamlined! This also frees up the GSTL who can get more involved and speedweave without having to keep their head up all the time for blinkers or getting interrupted mid conversation with a guest by a phone or walkie chatter! It also makes it easy to manage the front lanes since it prioritizes a list of things to do for you (red, yellow, green) so the most important goes on top and you can check them off as you make your way down!

Now if your store isn't on this system its because A) your GSTL just isn't logging into an LPDA as a gsa/gstl and keeping it with them or B) your store has NEVER used alerts because they "didn't work" and a few calls to CSC could have fixed them from the beginning...

At the end of the day there is no excuse to not be using the system... its on your business walks on the first friggin page! I haven't allowed my front end to carry a phone or use blinkers for over 6 months, and we run just fine :p
 
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I would LOVE it if we could use the buttons. I think they are a fabulous idea. But like I said, when 9 out of 10 times I get "can't send message, turn on lane light," well, my hands are a bit tied on what I can do.

My first line of action is always to use the help buttons. But they are becoming an exercise in futility, sadly.
 
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You guys have brought up my hot button lol....

The reason the help menu and alert system is around is to promise a fast and QUIET checkout... If you follow best practice for the checklanes, you place your registers staggered or every other so that guests don't hear every transaction around them... and you don't use blinkers or some sort of jerry rigged phone system to call the GSTL because the guests can see or hear there is a problem, and they shouldn't know! Not only does the help menu keep us quiet for the guests (guest needs a carry out, cashier hits the carry out alert button, and a cart attendant shows up... the guest doesn't even hear a word!)... but it makes us look streamlined! This also frees up the GSTL who can get more involved and speedweave without having to keep their head up all the time for blinkers or getting interrupted mid conversation with a guest by a phone or walkie chatter! It also makes it easy to manage the front lanes since it prioritizes a list of things to do for you (red, yellow, green) so the most important goes on top and you can check them off as you make your way down!

Now if your store isn't on this system its because A) your GSTL just isn't logging into an LPDA as a gsa/gstl and keeping it with them or B) your store has NEVER used alerts because they "didn't work" and a few calls to CSC could have fixed them from the beginning...

At the end of the day there is no excuse to not be using the system... its on your business walks on the first friggin page! I haven't allowed my front end to carry a phone or use blinkers for over 6 months, and we run just fine :p

Rock I completely agree that your way is ideal! Unfortunately at the store I just transferred from, the GSA/GSTL often could not beg borrow or steal a PDA of any kind until at least after noon when the early morning crew went home, and even then the batteries would be dead and there would be no replacements available. I am hoping that my new store has a better handle on equipment control and can put the PDAs in the hands of those who need them most.
 
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Rock I completely agree that your way is ideal! Unfortunately at the store I just transferred from, the GSA/GSTL often could not beg borrow or steal a PDA of any kind until at least after noon when the early morning crew went home, and even then the batteries would be dead and there would be no replacements available. I am hoping that my new store has a better handle on equipment control and can put the PDAs in the hands of those who need them most.

Thank you, I appreciate this. This gives me better insight as to what might be happening.
 

mrknownothing

purveyor of things
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You guys have brought up my hot button lol....

The reason the help menu and alert system is around is to promise a fast and QUIET checkout... If you follow best practice for the checklanes, you place your registers staggered or every other so that guests don't hear every transaction around them... and you don't use blinkers or some sort of jerry rigged phone system to call the GSTL because the guests can see or hear there is a problem, and they shouldn't know! Not only does the help menu keep us quiet for the guests (guest needs a carry out, cashier hits the carry out alert button, and a cart attendant shows up... the guest doesn't even hear a word!)... but it makes us look streamlined! This also frees up the GSTL who can get more involved and speedweave without having to keep their head up all the time for blinkers or getting interrupted mid conversation with a guest by a phone or walkie chatter! It also makes it easy to manage the front lanes since it prioritizes a list of things to do for you (red, yellow, green) so the most important goes on top and you can check them off as you make your way down!

Now if your store isn't on this system its because A) your GSTL just isn't logging into an LPDA as a gsa/gstl and keeping it with them or B) your store has NEVER used alerts because they "didn't work" and a few calls to CSC could have fixed them from the beginning...

At the end of the day there is no excuse to not be using the system... its on your business walks on the first friggin page! I haven't allowed my front end to carry a phone or use blinkers for over 6 months, and we run just fine :p

One of my GSAs refuses to carry the PDA with her, so the requests never go through when she's on. It's to the point where I jokingly bug her about it.
 

StaticSun

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Related:

I had an interesting walkie message come at me today.

"Attention: Carry Out needed at lane 13. Who is responding?"

Nobody was anywhere near CL13. As a joke, once, I programmed a callbox to say "Carry out needed at Starbucks". Get it? Carry out.... Starbucks... Coffee... I know, I'm hilarious. All of the callboxes were accounted for, the GSTL office was locked up, and nobody knew how that message went out.

I know when the help menu first rolled out, the idea was for the "Carry Out" button to automatically send out the automated walkie call, but has since been discontinued in favor of the GSTL alert.
 

mrknownothing

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Related:

I had an interesting walkie message come at me today.

"Attention: Carry Out needed at lane 13. Who is responding?"

Nobody was anywhere near CL13. As a joke, once, I programmed a callbox to say "Carry out needed at Starbucks". Get it? Carry out.... Starbucks... Coffee... I know, I'm hilarious. All of the callboxes were accounted for, the GSTL office was locked up, and nobody knew how that message went out.

I know when the help menu first rolled out, the idea was for the "Carry Out" button to automatically send out the automated walkie call, but has since been discontinued in favor of the GSTL alert.

I wish they would bring back the walkie message for change. The GSTL is more likely to notice the message on their walkie than on the PDA.
 
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One of my GSAs refuses to carry the PDA with her, so the requests never go through when she's on. It's to the point where I jokingly bug her about it.


A couple of years ago my store got a new, outside hire GSTL who didn't want to use the PDA because he found it annoying to keep it with him (he was not a great GSTL). I was just a lowly GSA but I put a stop to that because he was retraining all the cashiers to use their lane-lights instead and it was driving me crazy and it definitely creates guest service issues. We still have a bit of an issue with this even though this GSTL has moved to another area. Whenever I catch a cashier using the lane-light and not even trying to use the help button first (and I say "trying" because there are times the system isn't working) I talk to them about why it's best practice but often the best I can get is them using both, and I can't really fault them for that when they have had too much experience with GSTLs/GSAs who don't respond quickly to the alerts or the lights.
 

Rock Lobster

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One of my GSAs refuses to carry the PDA with her, so the requests never go through when she's on. It's to the point where I jokingly bug her about it.

If a GSA refused to carry it in my store, I would coach her right away! Its on a GSAs core roles to respond to ALERTS quickly, which she isn't doing obviously... This isn't really a "I would rather do it this way" thing... its best practice and on our business walks... And I understand how sometimes a best practice needs to be tweaked to fit a store... but seriously this is a front end best practice! They are not that hard to implement :p
 
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Hi Retail Girl,

I know your frustration since I work guest services and the front lanes.

Register Change Requests are monitored by the Guest Service (GS) team member. Unfortunately there is nothing (like a flashing light) to tell GS that there is a request unless whoever is in charge checks a GS register for change requests which gets delayed because he/she forgets to check periodically or their too busy serving guest. I've yet to see what good the lane light does...maybe it should be a different color than the standard light that can trigger required attention.

Supervisor Overrides at the register are another pain. Tracking down a Team Lead of any sort can be a search for the Holy Grail and it does get annoying to our guest.

What is frustrating working Guest Services (which is my main assignment) is that depending on who is the GSTL for the shift a walkie to request register backup, carryouts, etc or keys to fill change requests may not be given to the team member assigned to guest services. NOW you have the Cashier and the GS team member searching for the GSTL while the guest is reaching their boiling point.

It would be nice to consistently have the tools that we need to do our jobs so we can really be FAST, FUN and FRIENDLY.

If the GSTL was doing there job right there is no reason for Guest Service to be getting or checking for change. If you are signed in properly the alerts work and if they don't you need to be contacting CSC. It is not Guest Service job to be leaving the desk looking for the GSA or running change to a lane.
 

Rock Lobster

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I wish they would bring back the walkie message for change. The GSTL is more likely to notice the message on their walkie than on the PDA.

Honestly, there is way too much walkie chatter... the LPDA dings and vibrates for every alert, so you have to be pretty oblivious to not notice them coming in!
 
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Miracle of miracles! Every time I hit the help buttons tonight (granted it wasn't often) the message went through and the GSA showed up! It was a good night.
 

mrknownothing

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If a GSA refused to carry it in my store, I would coach her right away! Its on a GSAs core roles to respond to ALERTS quickly, which she isn't doing obviously... This isn't really a "I would rather do it this way" thing... its best practice and on our business walks... And I understand how sometimes a best practice needs to be tweaked to fit a store... but seriously this is a front end best practice! They are not that hard to implement :p

She does respond if we use our lights, but she doesn't turn them off like our other GSTL/GSAs do, so the noobs have their lights on for a few minutes after she finishes with them. We also have an older GSA who only covers breaks, and he doesn't use the PDA. If he hears the ding because the PDA is still logged in, he checks the register for change requests (he's been around a while - he used to be our 239 specialist).

Honestly, there is way too much walkie chatter... the LPDA dings and vibrates for every alert, so you have to be pretty oblivious to not notice them coming in!

Or just not carrying the PDA. They could always make the change message a request that the GSTL has to respond to like the call buttons. But then the call button scores would plummet because they always seem to be stuck at Guest Service whenever anyone needs change.
 

Rock Lobster

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She does respond if we use our lights, but she doesn't turn them off like our other GSTL/GSAs do, so the noobs have their lights on for a few minutes after she finishes with them. We also have an older GSA who only covers breaks, and he doesn't use the PDA. If he hears the ding because the PDA is still logged in, he checks the register for change requests (he's been around a while - he used to be our 239 specialist).



Or just not carrying the PDA. They could always make the change message a request that the GSTL has to respond to like the call buttons. But then the call button scores would plummet because they always seem to be stuck at Guest Service whenever anyone needs change.

Like I said, I haven't had an issue in months with alerts (there was that one week there was a global issue)... otherwise they are the ONLY way I run the lanes, I tell my team I don't want to see blinkers or hear them calling on a phone... We solely use alerts and it works fine! If your store is having issues it is at the fault of the leadership team not actually giving it a solid attempt, not the system itself!
 
M

mxrbook

Guest
We have a GSA and a GSTL open, a mid GSA, and a GSA and GSTL who close. We're on overlapping shifts so we can status the new shift. We use walkies and PDAs and lights. The cashiers are trained to use the help buttons and flip on the light. We're often at the lane before we get the PDA alert. lol And I tell ya, we respond immediately as the response time to the alert is recorded. We do prioritze guest waiting over change requests tho.

I guess we're a lucky store. When we were incredibly busy during the holidays, sometimes as a cashier I had to wait a while for change requests, but I've never had to leave a lane to "find" GSA or GSTL. My ETL and STL would have termed the lot of us.
 

Rock Lobster

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We have a GSA and a GSTL open, a mid GSA, and a GSA and GSTL who close. We're on overlapping shifts so we can status the new shift. We use walkies and PDAs and lights. The cashiers are trained to use the help buttons and flip on the light. We're often at the lane before we get the PDA alert. lol And I tell ya, we respond immediately as the response time to the alert is recorded. We do prioritze guest waiting over change requests tho.

I guess we're a lucky store. When we were incredibly busy during the holidays, sometimes as a cashier I had to wait a while for change requests, but I've never had to leave a lane to "find" GSA or GSTL. My ETL and STL would have termed the lot of us.

I would challenge your store as to why they are using both alerts and blinkers? All business walks say to use alerts and never turn on lane lights, yet you are doing both even though alerts are working? It may shave a few seconds off, but you are not following a best practice for little gain?
 

TheWanderer

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I guess we're a lucky store. When we were incredibly busy during the holidays, sometimes as a cashier I had to wait a while for change requests, but I've never had to leave a lane to "find" GSA or GSTL. My ETL and STL would have termed the lot of us.

The GSA/GSTL shouldn't be making a habit of leaving the checklanes. That bugged me when my GSTL would do it. When I was a GSA, if I had to leave the area, I made sure that at LEAST my Service Desk was aware, and we both had walkies so there was never any searching.
 
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this thread makes me sad. Our store ONLY uses the blinkers if the alerts aren't working or use the GSTL phone and the cashiers call us and ask us to come to their lane. Which those two options rarely are needed. Our GSTL's and GSA's are required to stay up front and speedweave.
I do not understand the idea of not carrying the PDA and if someone in my store was doing that they'd instantly be coached. Even that week when the alerts weren't working we carried around the PDA to help guests. Also, why does your store not have pda's set aside for the front? We have two gstl pda's that we lock up in the change drawer and no one can use them except us.
If any of the cashiers ever left their lane to find a gstl there would be a huge problem with that. I feel like these stores that aren't following best practices in these areas aren't focusing on Guest Service and are not making it a priority. I'd be highly interested to know your service scores and survey comments.
 

mrknownothing

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Like I said, I haven't had an issue in months with alerts (there was that one week there was a global issue)... otherwise they are the ONLY way I run the lanes, I tell my team I don't want to see blinkers or hear them calling on a phone... We solely use alerts and it works fine! If your store is having issues it is at the fault of the leadership team not actually giving it a solid attempt, not the system itself!

It must be my leadership. One of my GSTLs supposedly lives and breathes "best practice" but usually ends up inadvertently doing the opposite, and the other one just doesn't care about anything. (The "new GSTL" that I've ranted about followed me to Hardlines, go figure.) We're getting a new ETL-GE, though, so hopefully things will change (the old one loved all the GSTL/GSAs, so no one ever got coached or anything), and hopefully a new GSTL soon.
 
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