Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Closing time

Originally uploaded by ellectric
Let's try to stop lying to our customers.

I went to Home Depot last night -- the hours on their recording state that they are open from 8AM-9PM; I got to the doors at 8:54PM and they were locked. Here's the thing: if you're open until 9PM, then you need to stay open until 9PM. I know it sucks when that last guy wanders in right at 9PM and delays everyone from leaving until 9:30PM. But if that's the case, then just list the store hours as 8AM-8:30PM so that you've got that 1/2 hour buffer built in and everyone can get out by 9PM without pissing any of your customers off.

We recently faced this issue with accepting applications: our application and screening process takes about 1.5 hours and we stated our hours as 9AM-5PM. Inevitably we would have someone show up at 5PM and need to go through the process; we always did our best to accommodated them, but it was painful for our administrative employees and there were times that we couldn't. To fix it, we did some backwards math: if it takes 30 minutes to shut the office down and that normally takes place at 5PM, then the last time we should accept an applicant is 3:30PM; adding a little buffer, we choose 3PM. Now we advertise that we are open from 9AM-5PM, but that applications are only accepted from 9AM-3PM.

This seems like pretty simple stuff and it is pretty simple stuff, so why is it so hard to pull off?

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