A consumer gets out of bed, visits the bathroom, has breakfast and rushes to the car to leave for work.
They have a one hour lunch break in which they need to grab a sandwich at the local deli and visit the bank. Time is limited, but they believe they can accomplish these chores in an hour.
They leave work and drive to the bank, the normal ten-minute journey takes twenty minutes and then they cannot find a parking space. Having eventually parked the car they arrive at the bank. There are two tellers on duty and there are five people in each queue. They wait for at least ten minutes before they get to the teller, who shows little empathy to their problem and processes their transaction. They now decide to skip the deli and lunch and return to work in a slow line of traffic. Once back at work they have a miserable afternoon, before facing the traffic jam on the way home. A typical day in the life of a consumer? It could be your day.
The key in today’s competitive climate is to ensure you invest in your team to ensure they are the best ambassadors you can have when they deal with your customers.
Communication includes some simple, but effective steps:
1. Let every team member know your vision and philosophy as a business.
2. Have team meetings once a week and share the ‘chair’ between key team members.
3. Product knowledge training should be on a regular basis; it’s essential to give your team members confidence.
4. Have an empowerment policy in your business to ensure your team feel they have responsibility and are valued.
5. Reward success.
6. Benchmark success so everyone has set goals.
7. Be consistent in your implementation.
Remember, it starts at the top, but is experienced at the grass roots.
Retailing is about putting yourself in the shoes of the consumer to allow you to empathise with them; we have all been in situations where salespeople have shown no empathy to our life stresses and we have often taken out our disgruntlements with these salespeople and become vigilante customers, whilst the salesperson has no idea what they have done wrong.
John Stanley is a conference speaker and retail consultant with over 20 years experience in 17 countries. John works with retailers around the world assisting them with their merchandising, staff and management training, customer flow, customer service and image.