Written by Millionaire’s Digest Staff Member: Dylan A.
Founder & Owner of: Business Management Blog
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Business and Marketing Writer
We have all likely experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly of customer service during retail transactions in our shopping experiences. Let’s face it: many retail customer service employees are paid minimum wage and this translates into minimum effort for some customer service representatives. Under an enthusiastic and passionate retail manager, however, this trend can be reversed.
Based on my professional experience, retail attendants will be more likely to achieve high standards of retail execution if the following 3 keys to flawless customer service are clearly communicated to all employees and monitored on an ongoing basis.
1. Wear your uniform!
While this sounds like common sense, I’m amazed at how many times I have stepped into retail stores that have a known polo-and-black-pants dress code only to see the attendant wearing a white t-shirt and jeans. The retail business is all about image and by not wearing an appropriate uniform, your staff are forfeiting an important aspect of this brand image consistency.
An employee failing to wear their required uniform from time to time may not have immediately noticeable negative consequences on your business, but the uniform is an important long term marketing point of influence. Make sure that you coach your employees who comply inconsistently to your internal uniform policy. Show your customers that you are in the business of serving them better than your competitors — wear your uniform every day!
2. Actively sell promotion items
Active selling or “upselling” promotion items is a critical retail strategy to boost sales. This occurs when an attendant actively offers an additional item to the customer during the transaction. For instance, an attendant at a grocery store might actively sell as follows: “Would you like a pack of gum with that today?”
This tactic is very powerful at boosting sales. Many retail customers will not realize that they need or want a given product during a store visit unless they are actively offered such a product by the staff. It’s human nature — we don’t usually want to spend cash, but if offered a product at a good price, we can sometimes be tempted.
As a manager, I find that the following analogy helps to obtain attendants’ buy-in to execute active selling consistently: If a hockey player shoots at the net zero times during a game, he has no chance of scoring a goal. If, however, the same hockey player shoots at the net 100 times, he has a chance of scoring at least one goal. That one figurative goal could be a sale at your store — and it’s the sum of those sales that comprises your business’ bottom line.
Tip: If you want to probe and monitor your employees’ active selling execution, consider implementing a mystery shopping program at your store. Send in “secret shoppers” to make sure your staff are performing as directed and follow up as appropriate.
3. Thank the customer for their business
Last but most certainly not least, it is imperative to thank your customers for their business — every time, without exception. This simple gesture is so important in today’s highly competitive business environment.
If Company A and Company B are offering the same products at similar prices with comparable service levels overall, it will be the Company that goes out of their way to thank the customer for their business that wins the customer’s heart and loyalty. Be nice, be grateful, be welcoming — thank your customers for their business at all times!
Article Credits: Dylan A.
Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor