Updated: Jan 11
On an average day, we scroll around a mile of content through our phones.
We consume content like a child consumes cake at a party!
So what happens when we are faced with physical service inside of stores?
No longer can we simply scroll and throw.
I have witnessed stark contrasts in consumer preferences to shop physically, broadly, one will fall into these categories:
Head down, maybe earphones in. Not available to talk. Leave me alone!
Eye contact, engaged. Ready and willing to talk. Help me!
Unsure. Wants to approach but has limited social skills. Help me!
Engaging with shopper 1 is often near impossible at the outset.
One way to strike a connection is by leaning aside to capture their peripheral vision and smile or even offer a thumbs up!
This is non intrusive, you are respecting the customer and just letting them know 'hey I'm here if you need anything' ...without actually saying it.
Some consumers will wear headphones pretending to be listening to something as they simply don't want to be approached.
But, and here lays the win: If you have offered a simple connection by offering the above, they may feel comfortable to then engage further and come to you with a question later on.
Why? You made them feel welcome without pushing anything. You were brave enough to say 'welcome to this space, I want you to enjoy your time here' ...but you never said a word. It was delivered with your body language and smile.
Engaging with shoppers 2 and 3 are the most fun!
These visitors are ready to discuss needs, they want to know about offers and they are likely to take on your advice. Often, they wish to be led.
You must believe this.
In order to offer superior service, you must first believe that a brand fan has entered the space to be inspired, to explore and potentially, to buy!
Too often, team members judge a customers intention to purchase based on their own belief systems. Advisors fall into a habit that costs the business sales, and they do this without even knowing how or why!
For example, if a client is looking to buy a £10,000 handbag, certain team members will have trouble 'selling' this. Why? £10,000 to a team member may be half an annual salary! £10,000 to that team member could be an entire annual rent payment for their inner city flat share!
This amount of money can be an awful lot of money, and it is because of this personal experience and belief that creates a huge invisible barrier in effective selling.
The client is ready to talk about the collection, discover the piece and probably ready for any add-on items. But the server is scared to sell, because they feel bad themselves. They feel 'this is a lot of money' and that energy of nervousness directly feeds onto the client, which is not conducive for a successful sale.
Delete all pre-existing money beliefs from your mind. Get you head out of the clients wallet.
Remember, the store based role is to inspire, excite and educate.
This needs to come from a place of passion to serve.
If the customer wants to spend that amount of money, it is your duty to hold their hand into that purchase. Believe they want to buy. Believe they seek your help and expertise.
Teams working in a fast paced store, where the basket size is around £100 you can still have enormous influence over every visitor.
Superior service takes place at hotspots throughout your store.
The fitting room is the best place to win more business and leave your customer feeling a sense of WOW!!
Team members who are confident, naturally positive and personable belong in the fitting rooms. They will thrive there. Your customers will be happy too.
Customers stepping into the fitting room will be greeted with a genuine welcome and taken to a room. The assistant will pepper in some compliments on their choices on route.
The customer is already starting to feel good about the event about to take place!
Superior service then continues when the assistant joyfully offers an add-on piece to compliment the item or they enthusiastically talk about the new collection of summer accessories 'which will look amazing on your holiday pictures' the consumer is now starting to visualise these pieces on holiday with them!
The assistant has successfully connected product with emotions and places; the consumer feels happy, the business processes more sales, everyone wins!
Superior service is a feeling.
The customer needs to be left with a sense 'wow' these moments could be:
Hearing genuine compliments
Being actively listened too and not talked over
Learning something new about the product/brand
Impressed with the styling and outfit inspirations
The energy and welcome of the team
Convenience of handbag hooks/shelves in the fitting rooms or tills
The extra 'touch' (free sample, CRM incentive, coffee, chocolates...)
Each of these elements of surprise will leave your customers feeling happy, feeling like they just had a great experience. Feelings lead to actions.
Feelings are best inspired in a physical space. It is incredible difficult to emulate this online, in your e-commerce store. People connect with people.
Your store based people have the optimal opportunity to engage, excite and inspire customers through superior service. Step out of the scripts, move away from constraints that limit the potential of your people. One cannot be expected to greet all customers in the same way just because the mystery shop expects that! This is madness.
Give people the knowledge and tools for success and let them fly.
Superior service will be born!