Home > Uncategorized > Being Made to Jump Through the Hoops

Being Made to Jump Through the Hoops

Every once in awhile you learn a new word. Recently it was hidebound. Basically, it means rule-bound, though dictionary.com offers these:

  • oriented toward or confined to the past; extremely conservative
  • restricted by petty rules, a conservative attitude, etc

Many of our suppliers treat retailers like children. You have to jump through the hoops or you don’t get dessert. One Canadian supplier launched over a decade ago with something like this: “Our policies: We have no policy except common sense.” Years later, they had created more bureaucracy than anyone else we dealt with.

But as retailers, we can do this also. If our exchange policies are as tightly controlled as some of our suppliers’ return policies; or if every tiny custom order requires a massive deposit; then our stores can’t be what they are meant to be: A place of grace.

So the comic from Chuckle Brothers seemed appropriate. The store exists on both sides of the international date line. The item is on sale for one day only, but not on the side with the checkout. “Sorry,” the clerk says, “That sale ended yesterday.” When is a sale not a sale?

After the initial laugh, we have to ask ourselves if some of our customers perceive our store that way.

  • Do we have unnecessary policies that could be eliminated and replaced with common sense?
  • Can we maintain policies to fall back on in difficult circumstances, but let the rule of grace dictate the corporate culture and spiritual atmosphere of our stores?
  • Do we need to give our institutional, church, and bulk-purchase accounts some power of arrangement; the flexibility necessary so they can get what they really need?
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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. landoklassen
    July 12, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Good words Paul. We have to make it easy for folks to do business with us. We have a free gelato on your birthday offer. Awhile back I heard that one of my staff was asking for proof by showing their license or something. I couldn’t believe it. As the boss I changed that idea very fast. Now even if you missed it by afew days YOU GET a FREE gelato. Yes lets make it easy. Some of our policies have been put in place for the 1% who try to stretch the rules. Most of our customers are very pleasant and fair. They will do more business with us if they are treated right. Let’s love em.

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