June 07, 2007

These Folks Know Your Business

Tomorrow is Friday. Be honest, the last place you want to be on a glorious late spring Friday is in a temperature-controlled building working for the Man.

But you have to be there, your have to save your "paid time off" for your August vacation in Banff.

So make the best of your Friday. Go into your database, and pull every purchase transaction for the past five years that came at the hands of one of your employees.

Now that you've done that, see if there is any correlation between how much your customers spend each month, and how much your employees spend each month. In particular, you are looking for "changes in spend". In other words, if your employees spent $5,000 in May 2006, and they spent $5,500 in May 2007 (and you have the approximate same number of employees, year-over-year), you have a 10% "comp-employee" increase.

Why would you do this? Often, there is a high degree of correlation between employee spend and customer spend.

This becomes important when your sales go in the tank. If your sales stink, and your own employees aren't buying your merchandise, you know exactly who to ask why. No need to fly business class to Austin to hear nine individuals wax poetic about emotional attachments to brands. Just walk down to the contact center or fulfillment center, and look in the eyes of a person working ten hour days at eleven dollars an hour. S/he may hold the key as to why business stinks. At worst case, s/he actually talks to the customer, and can relay that information to you.

Similarly, if business is smokin', these folks know why.

So give this query a try before you sneak out of the office at 2:30pm to get an early start on the weekend!