Updated: Jul 16
Are you happy with single digit conversions in your retail stores?
Do you think it is possible to get high double digit?
I'm here to tell you IT CAN BE DONE and it doesn't need to be so complex either, often the simplest of strategies are not well executed - leaving your store under-performing and customers heading elsewhere, possibly never to return.
What customer service techniques do your teams currently have? I'm talking about the great teams, the ones who always perform. Have those service techniques been rolled out regionally?
There are many in-store factors that influence the purchase decision.
Everything you see, hear, touch, smell has an effect on the customer journey.
Ever wondered why some brands explode and grow exponentially?
They serve the customer - everything is built, created and implemented with only the customer in mind.
Customer service is centred around human connection through communication
And oh how the lost art of communicating is...well...lost
You see, in this age where the average person engages in more conversations digitally over face-to-face is it any wonder that in-store teams are like rabbits in headlights when a customer engages with them?!
It is extremely rare to have a fantastic conversation with retail staff today.
Genuine connection is THE most important factor that simply must take place to positively influence your customer.
Not scripted, not rehearsed, but genuine human connection.
Customer service techniques are similar brand to brand; yet so often the implementation is subpar, simply not good enough.
So let's dive into these winning strategies that have seen the regions I have ran explode into 30%+ conversion rates and creating raving brand fans along the way!
1. Recruit a leader who can rally the teams
Leadership presence in your retail store during ALL the opening hours is absolutely critical. Your General Manager will work 9hrs a day, 5 days a week. 6 days if in The Middle East. Who is leading when they are not there?
Make sure your leadership cover is available at all times, preferably ON the sales floor too.
Attitudes of the teams are reflected by the leadership.
If your leaders are full of energy and focus; the team will be too.
Leaders who strive for results, lead with heart and passion are naturally going to build a high performing team. Period.
2. Quick welcome
Eye contact, smile, whatever is natural for your teams to deliver an authentic greeting.
Don't fall into the trap of 'hi how are you' because let's face it, this is a closed greeting that is only going one way - straight to the 'here we go again' container in the customer mind responding with 'fine thanks' end of rapport before it even started!
3. Be actively interested in the customer
This happens when your teams listen to understand. Do not assume or recommend until you know the customer needs or expectations.
I recently had a bra fitting and I specifically asked not to show me any models with wires, yet the Assistant brought me a few pieces as 'these are new collection and nice colours'
I don't care if it is made from gold leaf...I asked for no wires and you brought me wires.
Now, I'm annoyed and totally dialled out of that experience.
Listening will serve your teams and get you better results, everyday, every-time.
4. Be the aspirational person
Customers are in your store to be inspired and/or to learn about product or offers. They want something different to online.
So be the beacon of light! Yes! Style them passionately and talk about the benefits, show off your own pieces to inspire them, make sure they FEEL good about themselves through your words and actions
5. Smile more
Ask your teams to practise a typical conversation in the mirror. Pay attention to the subtle changes in the face; eyes, mouth, twitches. Subtle purposeful habit changes will drive more connection with customers.
So when the customer is talking (top tip - you WANT the customer to talk more than you)...instead of dead eyes thinking about your next task or lunch break, actually smile and nod. Absorb the information then repeat some key words back to them to qualify what they were saying.
Smiling is free, and it makes people feel good.
When people feel good, they remember that. They come back, they shop. Repeat!
Retailers must improve customer service techniques to retain and grow brand fans
Companies cannot say they value customer experience then only staff the floor with 2 part-time workers.
Brands cannot say they offer outstanding customer service when the fitting rooms are unmanned and clothes are piling up inside.
How about improving customer experience with proven and relevant retail training?
If you do, the sales will follow.