Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I need YOUR help

Above is a graphical representation I drew of the OTC section in front of the pharmacy. The letters a, b, and c represent the aisles of the OTC section. BUT there are actually no aisle markers above the aisles. The rest of the store have aisle markers, but these three do not. 

Is this an oversight by The Authorities? Perhaps, since there's one more aisle than whole numbers between 5 and 8. Personally I think they are purposely unmarked to force the pharmacist or technician to have to exit the pharmacy and show people where stuff is located.

That doesn't stop us, however, from trying to tell people where to go to get their item, especially if we're busy helping someone else. Over the course of time since this remodel we've encountered something odd about this particular set up without numbers. Let me give you a couple of scenarios.

Scenario 1: What I've designated as c has the pain medications, first aid, and eyeball juices. Suppose someone comes up to the counter and asks, "Where's your Banesin, sonny?" referring to an old name for Tylenol. So how do I answer? "It's on aisle 6 on the right. Aisle 6 is NOT marked, but it is THIS SIDE of 5." And what happens EVERY SINGLE TIME? They go to 5 and start walking down 5, to which I have to call out to them and tell them to come back or just run out there and stop them.

Scenario 2: Someone asks for one of our bowel remedies like Dungsoft. These are on our aisle I've designated as b. Remember, this OTC set up is DIRECTLY in front of the pharmacy, so how do I answer? I say, "It's right here in this CENTER aisle and point to aisle b. And what happens EVERY SINGLE TIME? They go to a or c but not b.

One of the techs takes a different approach. She'll say something like, "Do you see the lip balms on the end of that end cap?" (while pointing to where she's talking about). People will say "Yes," then she'll say, it's down that aisle and to your left. And what happens EVERY SINGLE TIME? They still end up going to the wrong place.

Obviously the easiest thing to fix this problem would be clearly marked lanes, maybe with the a, b, c lettering I've mentioned, or SOMETHING (anything) to help us out. Until then, WHAT on Earth can we do? It's so annoying and aggravating I can't even begin to tell you. What am I missing here? 



Anonymous said...

Keep one item from each of the unmarked aisles behind the counter. When someone asks show the item to their seeing eye dog so it can get the scent, and voila! It will lead them to the correct aisle!!

Keith Chastain said...

What my Authority expects is for me to take the customer to the item while engaging them in conversation. During my counseling I am building their trust in my recommendation only to finally ask them for their RX business too. What a plan, what a dirty dirty plan!

Hildy said...

No wonder you call your store Goofmart.

Make one of those "YOU ARE HERE" signs to show to those who ask? (Unless you could get away with different colored duct tape on the floor between the unlabeled aisles?)

uneko said...

People are amazingly bad at following instructions o_o

My first thought involves laying some colored tape down on the floor... So you can say "the aisle with the blue tape on the floor" or "the red Aisle" ... hell you could even extend the tape out to towards your counter so you could say "see those lines? Follow the RED one." ...

But.... you said in the meantime... Hmm..

I think I would go for language like "Not this aisle (pointing in front of you) but the one just that way (pointing to the left or right)"

...Don't refer to aisle numbers they can't see, or the wrong aisle numbers (saying '5' will make them look for 5, even if you're telling them to NOT look for five)

I have no idea what's going wrong with the center aisle. o_o

as for your tech's approach, avoid left-and-right directions. Some people have trouble processing left-and-right instructions (and numbers!) so it's easier to use visual references. Refer to the lip balm, but say "the aisle closer to us" or "the aisle on the other side of it" ... or.. "the aisle over there between the lip balm and the condoms."

Anonymous said...

You page overhead " assistance to the unmarked Isle, Managers assistance to the unmarked isle section."

Anonymous said...

Well, that sucks.

Maybe use two of the end displays as guides, like say "that aisle (point) right there in between the pocket hoses and the chap stick".

Other than making your own aisle markers that's the best I've got.

thoughtsbecamewords said...

Honestly, you are not missing anything. People should just listen nowadays. I mean you stated great examples and people still "got lost"? That's a riddle to me. Why are the isles 5 & 8 numbered? Anyway, I think that it should be pretty clear now. Your plan is great, do it! It would make a perfect sense, at least to me!

clutch said...

Place colored cones on top of each isle. " It's the isle between the blue and red cone " Of course the authorities may not approve.

was1 said...

do you work for supervalu? their idea was that the 'drug' section was a "store within a store". we never got aisle markers and often had to resort the the point and holler method of directing customers. jerks. (the supervalu people, not the customers).