We often know what we need to do as retailers to create a good customer experience. Other times, we do the wrong thing because there’s no one there to tell us otherwise.
It seems so easy. When you put the customer first, your customer will last, but how do you make it the focal point of your store culture?
With large chains like Sears, Macy’s, and others shrinking in size, we’re hearing that the beneficiaries will be smaller retailers.
You’d better note that retail management on only one location still makes up the majority of brick-and-mortar sales of $3.9 trillion. And according to a Rutgers infographic, Why the Brick and Mortar Stores Still Matters, the average customer in the US spends six times more in a store than online.
In addition, Rutgers said the average consumer spends $247 per month online, compared to $1,710 in physical stores.
This is seven times more than online.
Nowadays, so many online retailers are opening their own brick-and-mortar stores.
But how can you compete in a brick-and-mortar store?
An omnichannel brand that people can shop for whenever and wherever they want is becoming the new benchmark in 2018 – the base level – of retailing, but is it sure to be a success even if you have it? No.
The culture of most retail businesses is not focused on the customer; They are focused on tasks.
Well-trained employees can make the biggest difference to retailers—the feeling they can provide.
People who think they matter are going to buy more.
Despite silly studies like this one that 95% of shoppers want to be alone when they shop.
Don’t write off your customers as wanting less customer service.
They want more. Survey after survey over the past two decades shows that a greeting, prompt service, or the inability to find an available associate for shopping in a brick and mortar store is often the cause of frustration.
Competing that takes retail sales training.
When you focus on the customer first and properly train the people who work in your store, you make customers happy. Buyers walk into your door hoping to shop, discover something new, and meet someone who genuinely cares about them.
Hopeful people enter the shop at 11 a.m. ready to buy; Those who are depressed are in a bar at 11 o’clock.
But taking advantage of the expectation of the shopkeepers does not happen just like that. You must have a sales system.
If you have Millennial sales team members, they have a different learning style than GenX and Boomers. When faced with a problem, Millennials grew up searching for answers on Google.
And while they can get results from online spreadsheet answers, they haven’t worked on spreadsheets to access that answer.
This lack of self-detection is why retail sales training is so important.
Most retailers let their employees engage a shopper on their own and what do they come up with? Copying the same boring greetings, can I help you? Are you looking for something special?
What’s really interesting in a Euclid survey is that Millennials are more than twice as likely as Boomers and Gen X to say that interacting with knowledgeable sales staff influences their buying decisions.
But you have to give voice lessons to your employees can connect – even if they are of the same generation.
Your employees are not psychology or sales students. So they need a logical process to make sales.
By far the most social generation, even Millennials need a process to be social in public truly. And it takes a lot of work. And in your retail establishment, much training.
And if they can do it already, they will.
However, when you’re not linking employees’ performance to their pay, your retail sales training is less likely to last. In the Retail Assessment Tool, results from 1700 respondents show that 63% do not link employees’ salaries with their performance. The one who sells the best item at full price is the one who hides behind the pile.
If you don’t reward employees for taking and mastering what you’ve taught them, what will they want to do? Absolutely.
And while many retailers have some incentive programs for their employees, 40% do not offer either commissions or bonuses. That 40% are just expecting employees to give their all and be grateful for the job. It doesn’t work to make them a shopper’s day.
Product knowledge used to be the only matter to many retailers pride themselves on in their operations. It used to be essential to know everything about a product, whether it’s how to play the game you’re selling, how to make a luxury watch from scratch, or even how space-age works. The material used has made the tool half as heavy as the cheapest.
Yet 50% of the respondents did not answer the statement. You have product knowledge training on your best-selling 25 items.
So when it’s about your top products – which most buyers buy – 50% believe that merchandise can do the hard work of persuading a buyer to buy. That’s not it.
And when you’ve given your team retail sales training, they still can’t or won’t do the job.
For the sake of the statement, you have an employee alert procedure and termination policy, while 70% of respondents said they did. On another survey question, 60% did not answer the question Did you give them at least one with a deadline? When given a written performance review, do you want specific changes to acknowledge the results of your actions, attitude or performance?
This means that many retailers do not hold their employees accountable and behave poorly, even when it’s about customer service and dress codes. This is because they don’t want to be seen as a mean boss.
Bosses are expected to make difficult decisions – she gets paid, cuts her hours if it happens again, leaves, etc. That doesn’t mean you get paid for it — making difficult choices for the health of your business.
5 Tips to Add a Customer-First Focus to Your Retail Management Practice
1. Provide Retail Sales Training
2. Link employee performance to their salary
3. Pay Bonus for Exceeding Goals
4. Provide Product Knowledge Training on Your Top 25 Items
5. Give a written warning if they are not performing
The only way to have a customer-focused culture is to rigorously train, mentor, reward, be accountable, and hire your employees.
When it comes to retail management, you need to validate your training process and standards if you want to be a customer-first store.
Retail is not dead, but the customer is to be taken lightly.