Steps To Take When It Is Necessary To Stop Shoplifting By Friendly Customers

 

Sensormatic tags – 3                                                                                                                WC blog 780
Stop shoplifting – 3
Steps To Take When It Is Necessary To Stop Shoplifting By Friendly Customers
     One of the most difficult situations a store employee can face when trying to stop shoplifting is when the employee knows the person who is believed to be stealing. The thought came to me recently when my daughter told me about this kind of situation in the store where she works. A customer my daughter has known for several years at this location became so familiar to my daughter and other employees that they greet her by name. Once this customer even offered my daughter a job at a store she owned at the time. Recently my daughter has become suspicious of this woman and the other night suspected the woman had shoplifted. The customer’s large handbag had filled out and several anti-shoplifting hard tags were found in the area the woman had been “shopping” in. My daughter quizzed me on how this suspect could have removed the tags from merchandise. I reminded her that if the woman had owned a retail store at some point she may very well have had a device to remove Sensormatic tags or a tool for whichever electronic article surveillance system my daughter’s store employs.
     There are two sad facts contained in this little story. The first is shoplifters can be the people you might least expect them to be. They can come from any walk of life, and they can be the nicest people you could ever meet. They can be charming to such an extent they could charm the socks right off your feet and you would never know. The second is that there are thieves who have managed to get their hands on devices used to remove Sensormatic tags. Each of these can be the cause for major concern for a retailer. Before you become TOO concerned, know that there is a solution to both of these dilemmas and that is by offering superior customer service. 
     While there is no substitute for the protection and security of your merchandise that is provided with retail anti-theft devices the importance of customer service cannot be underestimated either. Maybe your merchandise protection strategy is to tag only certain high-theft items or SKU’s. That still leaves the other merchandise vulnerable to criminals. Customer service is the best way to stop shoplifting of these items. It also makes theft difficult for the thief who may be in possession of a removal device. Opportunity is a necessity for a shoplifter to conduct their “business” and customer service removes the opportunity from the equation. A thief can’t steal if someone is right there offering help or suggestions selling.
     The issue of WHO is shoplifting can be more difficult. As I said, it can be anyone from young to old. The only thing a store employee can do is to offer service to everyone. There are certain indicators of someone who may be intent on stealing but it is usually their actions or what they are wearing or carrying that will give them away. Only proper training from a reputable source experienced in the detection and apprehension of shoplifters can make a team successful at this. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. has training available to help retailers stop shoplifting and the experience to back up their training.
     When someone is trying to steal and they have been able to make “acquaintances” in the store and build trust, it is terribly difficult to identify their dishonest activity. Why is that? Because of the rapport they have established. Even casual friendships have a certain level of trust that develops with them. That trust can blind sales associates and that is what these shoplifters count on. HOWEVER, when it is suspected that the “friendly” shopper is stealing and personnel start giving more focused customer service that “friendly” shopper can become very testy and even belligerent. That is what my daughter encountered as she started to give more assistance than usual to the suspected crook. The formerly friendly flatterer didn’t take kindly to the extra attention and her veneer vanished. She began quizzing my daughter about why she was hanging around her and asking if she (my daughter) had a problem. The suspect who normally made large purchases (and carried out a gorged purse) made a small purchase and left the store. No tags were found that time.
     Sensormatic tags should always be the first line of defense to prevent theft. They have to be complemented with customer service. Customer service can promote sales while simultaneously curbing crafty crooks. Just be aware that shoplifters who once were chatty Cathy’s may turn into Nasty Nancy’s if their underhandedness is uncovered. Get training that will prepare you and your team for these uncomfortable encounters.
For more information about Sensormatic Tags contact us or call 1.866.914.2567.    

One of the most difficult situations a store employee can face when trying to stop shoplifting is when the employee knows the person who is believed to be stealing. The thought came to me recently when my daughter told me about this kind of situation in the store where she works. A customer my daughter has known for several years at this location became so familiar to my daughter and other employees that they greet her by name. Once this customer even offered my daughter a job at a store she owned at the time. Recently my daughter has become suspicious of this woman and the other night suspected the woman had shoplifted. The customer’s large handbag had filled out and several anti-shoplifting hard tags were found in the area the woman had been “shopping” in. My daughter quizzed me on how this suspect could have removed the tags from merchandise. I reminded her that if the woman had owned a retail store at some point she may very well have had a device to remove Sensormatic tags or a tool for whichever electronic article surveillance system my daughter’s store employs.

There are two sad facts contained in this little story. The first is shoplifters can be the people you might least expect them to be. They can come from any walk of life, and they can be the nicest people you could ever meet. They can be charming to such an extent they could charm the socks right off your feet and you would never know. The second is that there are thieves who have managed to get their hands on devices used to remove Sensormatic tags. Each of these can be the cause for major concern for a retailer. Before you become TOO concerned, know that there is a solution to both of these dilemmas and that is by offering superior customer service. 

While there is no substitute for the protection and security of your merchandise that is provided with retail anti-theft devices the importance of customer service cannot be underestimated either. Maybe your merchandise protection strategy is to tag only certain high-theft items or SKU’s. That still leaves the other merchandise vulnerable to criminals. Customer service is the best way to stop shoplifting of these items. It also makes theft difficult for the thief who may be in possession of a removal device. Opportunity is a necessity for a shoplifter to conduct their “business” and customer service removes the opportunity from the equation. A thief can’t steal if someone is right there offering help or suggestions selling.

The issue of WHO is shoplifting can be more difficult. As I said, it can be anyone from young to old. The only thing a store employee can do is to offer service to everyone. There are certain indicators of someone who may be intent on stealing but it is usually their actions or what they are wearing or carrying that will give them away. Only proper training from a reputable source experienced in the detection and apprehension of shoplifters can make a team successful at this. Loss Prevention Systems, Inc. has training available to help retailers stop shoplifting and the experience to back up their training.

When someone is trying to steal and they have been able to make “acquaintances” in the store and build trust, it is terribly difficult to identify their dishonest activity. Why is that? Because of the rapport they have established. Even casual friendships have a certain level of trust that develops with them. That trust can blind sales associates and that is what these shoplifters count on. HOWEVER, when it is suspected that the “friendly” shopper is stealing and personnel start giving more focused customer service that “friendly” shopper can become very testy and even belligerent. That is what my daughter encountered as she started to give more assistance than usual to the suspected crook. The formerly friendly flatterer didn’t take kindly to the extra attention and her veneer vanished. She began quizzing my daughter about why she was hanging around her and asking if she (my daughter) had a problem. The suspect who normally made large purchases (and carried out a gorged purse) made a small purchase and left the store. No tags were found that time.

Sensormatic tags should always be the first line of defense to prevent theft. They have to be complemented with customer service. Customer service can promote sales while simultaneously curbing crafty crooks. Just be aware that shoplifters who once were chatty Cathy’s may turn into Nasty Nancy’s if their underhandedness is uncovered. Get training that will prepare you and your team for these uncomfortable encounters.

 

For more information about Sensormatic Tags, contact us or call 1.866.914.2567.