The full summer season is fast approaching and how are you preparing for your customers? Here are a few hints to help your customers have a great shopping experience.
(1) Have an associate about 15 feet from the door entrance.
(2) Greet all customers and ask open-ended questions such as: - What’s the purpose of your visit to the store today? - What can I help you with today? – What brought you to the store today?
(3) Listen to your customers. Let them make their own informed decisions. Pose challenging rebuttal questions so that they can feel confident in your ability to help them.
(4) Find qualified associates to help those customers. Associates should be knowledgeable about the all-important aspect of the operation.
(5) Apply the 6-9 rule when possible. Associates should try to recognize any customer within 6 – 9 feet of them even though they might be occupied. Customers like to know they are been recognized. Inform the customer that someone will be with them shortly.
(6) Have all technical equipment such as tablets, inventory iPhone, and scan guns should be in place. Associates should be properly trained on all available electronic equipment.
(7) Have specially assigned associates distributing promotional literature and offering company credit card applications.
(8) Expired labels and banners should be removed before the opening of business.
(9) Know your peak hours of operation. Know the time of your highest sales and foot traffic to make certain your operation has adequate coverage. All breaks must be coordinated.
(10) Have adequate inventory supply. If items are not available see if it can be shipped in from another location or if customers can collect the item from another location. This process must be well coordinated. Always be prepared to offer alternative products.
(11) Companies should utilize Radio Frequency Identification(RFID) to manage their inventory.
(12) Order Management should be given priority and customers should be contacted about the status of their orders. Entries should be made for future follow up.
(13) Have access to vendors and seek their assistance and training.
(14) Have reserved associates to retrieve items from overstock if needed and taken to customers’ vehicle.
(15) There should always be adequate managers present to resolve problems in a fast, courteous and professional manner.
(16) Cashiers should thank customers for patronizing the establishment.
(17) Associates should have access to the hierarchical chain of management to communication customers’ feedback. Responses should be appropriate and swift. Associates should be rewarded for innovative ideas. Reward associates for great accomplishments.
(18) Management should take responsibility and train to prevent future occurrences. A reprimand should not be the first resort. Managers should be trained on the technique of Soft-Management and Soft-Skills (Accountability, Integrity, Empathy, humility dignity, honesty, etc.).
(19) Management should communicate through handheld radio rather than the business intercom.
(20) In This era of globalization, businesses should be able to cater to their various demographics. It is very important that associates have a comprehensive knowledge of weights and measures such as the metric system (1 inch = 25 millimeters, 1 inch = 2.5 centimeters, 1 foot = 30cm, I foot = 3.5 meters, 10.7 sq. ft. = 1 sq. meter, 1 gallon = 3.75 liters, metric ton vs regular ton, 14 pounds = 1 stone, 1 kilogram= 2.205 Lbs., 1 mile= 1.6 Kilometers ).