During the holiday season, many people took advantage of the ease of online shopping but now they are discovering the downside: trying to do returns. The process is complicated by the lack of paperwork, packaging, or receipts which leave in-store clerks helpless to return products they do not physically stock.

Walmart has ventured into third-party selling (as Amazon has long done) which is great for them on the revenue side but has caused untold delays in their stores. I had the misfortune of waiting behind several people trying to return an online order from a third-party and they were told they needed to have it boxed and ready to ship before the clerk could process it. There were miscommunications. Clerks didn’t know how to print shipping labels. For everyone involved, it was a nightmare.

The crux of the issue is that great ideas at the corporate level never got translated into effective training and implementation at the front-line level. The clerks at customer service were not equipped to effectively handle all the minute logistical details of what is essentially an entirely new business and everyone in-store has to pay the price.

If you create a process or system change in your organization, follow the path of implementation all the way through to the end. It’s not just getting the order there that matters, but how you handle getting it back.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: