Using Lean Six Sigma to Ring in Better Customer Service During the Holidays

With the holiday shopping season underway, there’s no better time for retail businesses to shine and be at their best for customers. After all, for many retailers, the holiday season brings in a large percentage of their annual revenue. So store operations must be at their optimal efficiency in order for customers to receive the best in customer service.

Using Lean Six Sigma to streamline and improve store operations can significantly make a difference with customer service, and ultimately the bottom line. From stocking shelves to the checkout process, every aspect of a retail operation must operate efficiently.

While there are many aspects to a store operation, we’ll focus on the checkout process in this blog post. Because this area is such a critical aspect of the customer service experience, there are many factors that can influence and shape its success. These include:

  • Ensuring customer satisfaction through exemplary engagement and interaction with customers
  • Capturing marketing information at the point of sale (such as address, email, shopper interests)
  • The ability of employees to multi-task during the checkout process: being able to check prices, answer phones, among other tasks
  • Ensuring appropriate levels of staffing during high demand times

Implementing Lean principles can help standardize and improve the checkout process. From reducing motion to training store employees to focus on waste reduction, the overall checkout process can be optimized and sped up significantly. Analyzing store data can help pinpoint areas for customer satisfaction improvement, which helps identify problem areas and set the stage to come up with solutions.

A few areas for improvement in the checkout process may include:

  • Implementing efficient and high quality point of sale (POS) systems for the fastest cashiering process
  • Finding ways to reduce customer interaction times at checkout through standardized processes
  • Implementing methods to shorten lines and wait times such as having employees checkout customers through hand-held devices

By implementing a few key strategies to streamline the customer experience, a retail organization will start to see benefits in their operations both during the busy holiday season and over the long term. Learn more about Lean Six Sigma and how training with 6Sigma.us can make a significant difference in your organization.


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