The Lost Art of Making Change

change We don’t pay with cash too often, but one of our brother-in-laws does. A pet peeve of his is that people can’t (or don’t) make change properly anymore. You know, the way it used to be done. Starting with the amount of the sale and counting back the change up to the amount you gave them.

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It seems like retail clerks either count out how much you have coming back or they just dump the change in your hand. Couldn’t they at least hand us the bills and the change separately? Or have one of those cool machines that spits out the change automatically?

So making change seems to be a lost art. Which made us wonder … what does that say about us?

That we can’t do math?

Because that really is what change-making, the old-fashioned way, requires of us. We depend on computers today, so we don’t have to do the math ourselves.

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georgeMy first real at-risk business was a retail store. We’re going back over 20 years here. I hired a woman in her 50s as a clerk. She hated the new-fangled cash registers we had. But she was brilliant. She could figure out how much change the customer had coming back faster than the cash register!

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marylynnI wonder what percentage of retail clerks could do that today. Here’s another example – have you ever given a clerk the dollars plus some change so you get an even amount back? And they get confused about why you’re giving them extra money!

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Practice makes perfect

We found a fun game to practice your change making skills and we have a link to that site on our site today. You get to see the change accumulating in your little piggy bank every time you get an answer correct.

What counting back change properly says

We’re losing some of our skills while gaining others. That’s part of the evolutionary process, but we need to make sure we’re not losing something in the process.

As we talked about this, we realized that there is a very important reason to count back change the way it used to be done. It has far bigger implications than you might think.

But today, we suspect that many people don’t see the benefit of the custom and it’s a pretty important benefit. By counting back change properly, the customer is reassured that we’re giving them the correct amount of change back. It highlights our honesty and integrity.

So whether we use a computer or not, that’s the reason to do it – it builds trust.

That’s why we’re talking about this today. We have a zest for new technology and that’s good. We are on a quest to be more productive. That’s good. But we have to make sure that we’re not throwing out customs that build our relationships.

It’s one thing to lose a skill that can be done by a computer; it’s a totally different story if we stop doing something that enhances our relationship with people. So, here at Bigg Success, we’re reviewing our practices to make sure we aren’t neglecting actions that solidify our relationships with the people we depend on for our success.

Sometimes the old way of doing things is the right way to do them. Because we rarely distinguish ourselves by some bigg accomplishment. We set ourselves apart by things that seem insignificant. Bigg success often comes from little actions.

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Join us next time when we continue on this thread but twist it in a different direction. We’ll talk about making change count. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image in today's post by kraziness)

3 replies

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] What is your customers’ picture of the perfect transaction? With your vision in mind, you begin discovering exactly what your customers are looking for. You’ll likely find that your customers focus on much smaller things than you do. For example, they may want to have their change counted back in a certain way as we talked about on a recent show. […]

  2. […] been talking about change in our last couple of shows. We started by talking about the lost art of making change. Last time, we talked about how saving our change can lead to bigg changes in our lives.  It […]

  3. […] time, we talked about the lost art of making change. As we prepared for that show, we remembered another little tidbit about […]

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