Question 6- Preventing a Reoccurrence of the Incident
Physically Restraining a Customer
The incident involving Mrs. Kim could have been handled in a better way, had the procedures in place been proper. Even though the Loss Prevention Manager’s intention was genuine, there is no way to justify the use physical force to stop a customer, who had stopped when called out without making an attempt to flee.
The management should set out clear policies pointing out to the employees that while ensuring that shoplifting incidents are detected on time, but at no point in time should they be using physical force on the customers in the name of suspicion which could lead to unfortunate injuries as has happened with Mrs. Kim.
Embarrassment to the Customer
It is also imperative that a customer who is suspected of shoplifting is stopped and taken in for questioning in the most discreet way possible. It is not right on the part of the store management to cause embarrassment to the customer being held up by taking him/her in for questioning with the other customers noticing the incident. In the incident involving Mrs. Kim, the employee happened to cause much of embarrassment to her, by taking her along using force in front of the other customers.
Expedite the Process
It is absolutely incorrect to make a customer, even someone suspected of shoplifting, wait as long as Mrs. Kim was made to. If the store manager is not available, next in rank should be given authority to take the process forward and ascertain whether the customer has indeed indulged in shoplifting, based on which further action could be taken.
The management should aim at ensuring that the employees at the store take care of the customers with utmost respect. The reputation of the organization built up over the years would be at stake otherwise.