What do your customers consider in your store when your staff welcomes them? Are they amazed or horrified? Are your employees comfortable engaging your clients, or do they avoid them? Could they be dressed professionally, and are these people easy to spot? We have always thought that the home supply stores do right to outfit their staff with uniforms so that they are easy to place anywhere in the store. Is it simple for your customers to identify your workers, or do they look like additional customers? Worse still, perform your employees stand out a lot? Do they have all kinds of tattoos or even face piercings that will cause customers to stare and tremble their heads?
Is your personnel friendly and accommodating? Do these cards honestly greet your customers, or do they simply ignore them until these people leave? I have a client who is the master of several successful clothing shops. A few years ago, I remember in a meeting with him if he complained bitterly about how poor business was compared to the earlier year; and there were absolutely no economic forces that justified his drop in product sales. So I decided to do my part to support my customer and patronize one of their stores in my neighbourhood. This didn’t take me long to
figure out why his product sales were slumping. I strolled into the store to be met with someone called “nobody. ” Nobody was at the front of the store. Nobody was found in and amongst the merchandise. Not anyone was at the front counter, willing to answer my questions. However, a group of employees snuggled together in the back of the store near the change rooms – the Christmas presents chatting with each other and all of these people ignoring every customer from the store. At one place, one of the customers typically approached the group and asked for several assistance.
They all looked at the other as if to say, “OK, who may be the unlucky sucker that will have to take this one? ” Wondering how long I could proceed without being approached by among the sales reps, I decided to cruise up and down each church aisle and check every bit of merchandise in the store — both women’s and in several. I spent more than half an hour, and not once did somebody come over and ask if they could assist me. Needless to say, I left unsuccessful. The next day I called the client and told your pet about my horrendous encounter.
The good news is that my client required action right away. He set up remote surveillance cameras in most of his stores, so he can now see what his personnel are doing at any time — right from his office. Moreover, he focused on re-training their staff to improve the direction they provide customer service, and he eradicated the employees that were slackers and encouraged other employees to goof off. At this point, when you walk into one of the stores, you are greeted by a simply friendly staff that can not do enough to help you get what you are looking for. Sales get increased dramatically, and he is continuing to open new outlets.
Of course, your staff really should engage your customers in a warm and friendly way and have excellent solution knowledge. But that isn’t generally enough; they also need to know ways to in particular situations. The way would your staff cope with a power outage? Would many people just stand around checking out each other, or would these cards know what the correct procedure should be to handle customers in this problem; what about a fire alarm? Why not something simpler and more widespread, like an angry customer? How would your staff take care of a disgruntled customer who’ll not leave until he or she receives satisfaction? When you tend not to be around, have you empowered your staff to handle these cases with tact and remedy your customers’ problems, as well as do they just tell them they can do anything and give them your name?
What about at the Position Of Sale? Your check-out counter is where your prospects form their last, and infrequently most vivid, impression on your business. Do your team know how to operate the Retail system correctly and efficiently hence the payment process is easy and painless for the purchaser? Do you have long line-ups? If that’s the case, are your staff members taught to minimize the frustration and anger your customers experience on waiting in line or do these cards just ignore it and act like scared little rabbits that won’t make eye contact with them? Nothing ticks me down more than having to wait in line, apart from dealing with an unfriendly cashier after I have been stuck browsing in line.
If the last feeling your customers have of their knowledge in your store is negative, what are the chances that they’ll come back? Who cares if you are the simply store within 50 a long way that sells your form of merchandise? If your customers depart your store feeling just like they did you a favour by purchasing your products, next time they could make the 50-kilometre drive to your competitor: especially if the competitor’s staff choose your customers to feel good about getting from them. At the very least, your customers will endeavour to find the exact products online – they may not acquire much in customer service. Nevertheless, they aren’t getting any out of your store anyway.
If you usually are 100% certain that your customers consider your employees significant, below are a few ideas you can use to optimize your customer’s experience and your staff.
1 . Buy your team new shirts or outfits with your store name; make them similar in style and the same colour. Better still, fit your store logo about them. If you don’t have a budget for completely new clothing, print out name tickets with your company logo on them and distribute them to each personnel. It’s embarrassing when your shoppers mistakenly identify another purchaser as a staff member and ask these individuals a question about your products. Your staff should stand out and ought to be easily identified.
2 . Ensure that they keep their clothes flushed and they don’t show up to get work with yesterday’s spaghetti spills. Buy an iron in addition to an ironing board, so if they come to work with a shrivelled shirt, they can iron the item before going on the floor. If your retailer sells apparel, you probably have a new steamer for your merchandise instructions. Make sure your staff uses the item on their clothes too. Make sure your staff knows they are required to arrive clean in addition to pressed clothes. Keep different extra shirts in the government financial aid case a staff member pertains to work with a dirty shirt; in that case, make him/her change into the item and deduct the dried-up cleaning from their paycheck. (Don’t make them pay for the dried-up cleaning if they got witty at work and had to change shirts. )
3. The overall impression of your staff speaks volumes about who you are and your store. What your team wear when they are not working isn’t your business. But where did they look and act once working in your store? Is the best business? Avoid obnoxious echos of tattoos or experience piercings (unless you buy and sell a tattoo parlour. ) Wild hair colours, in addition to hairdos, may look great within the art gallery or a hair salon. Still, they also have no place in a furry friend store or gift purchase. Make sure the image your team presents to your customer will be consistent with the image you want to be mirrored of your company.
4. Make sure your staff are accessible and possess a lot of product knowledge. Do not have new staff with at least one senior staff member on the floor. It truly is one thing to be friendly and presentable, but your employees also need to be able to answer your consumers’ questions; if they can’t, they need to know where to find the responses. It’s a good bet that numerous suppliers would be excited to come in and educate your staff about their goods – what makes them far better and how they compare to your competition. Have regular product understanding meetings that focus on a particular product line. Invite your vendors to be guests at these kinds of meetings.
5. Make sure every person who uses the cash sign-up (or POS System) will be adequately trained on the connectivity to the system and the laws relating to credit card processing. Make sure they will know what all the possible problem messages mean. Give them the option, and teach them how to reset/reboot the income register/POS System properly – this would fix 90% of all complex problems. (I know that because I’ve worked with TRAS equipment for over 20 years. )
6. Nothing more disturbing to a customer than a was unable credit card transaction. Sometimes it is often the customer’s fault, but frequently it’s your system’s fault. Ensure that all your staff know how to differentiate and give them some tactics they can use to dissipate the customer’s frustration and unpleasantness.
7. If you collect almost any customer information at the Position Of Sale (check-out counter), make sure your staff collect in addition to using the information discreetly. No one likes to be asked all their phone numbers and addresses if other people are listening directly to their rear.
8. Make sure everyone understands how to deal with customer complaints and present them with authority to offer solutions. It might cost you somewhat up front, but it will come back ten times in consumer loyalty. At the very least, your staff should be friendly and polite under all conditions. They need to take every customer issue seriously. They should tell the consumer that they will personally follow up with all the managers/owners to make sure a resolution is available. If you have the budget, pay for a buyer service consultant to come inside and put on a workshop about how precisely to handle customer complaints effectively.
My wife once told me a saying that she learned from a favourite aunt regarding hers: “people may not bear in mind what you said to them. Nevertheless, they will never forget how you produced them feel. ” Which such a powerful idea. Are usually your employees making your visitors feel good about shopping inside your store?
Michael Steg will be Managing Director of Tri-City Retail Systems, a Rare metal Certified Microsoft Partner devoted to implementing management systems for retailers of all sizes. After working with hundreds of retail organizations for over 23 years, Michael learned a great deal about how to use a successful retail business. He has also witnessed many blunders that retailers make that will significantly impact
their capacity to succeed in such a competitive market. Over the years, Michael kept records on what worked for his or her customers – and what failed to work. Now, Michael provides translated these notes into short, information-packed articles and is sharing them with a person so that you can learn from the experience of other people. Michael’s articles give merchants real-world advice on increasing their businesses and include lists associated with action items that retailers may use immediately, actions that may positively impact their bottom line.
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