Retail Sales – Avoid The Traps That Will Ruin Your Business!
Why is it that some retail staff delight us with their quality of service and some frustrate us to the point of anger? The work done by Prosell over 25 years have highlighted some of the reasons for the dreadful experiences we sometimes have. As we highlighted in a previous blog, the impact of poor service goes further quicker and can close down businesses almost overnight.
Below are the most common mistakes that retailers make in allowing their customer to have poor experience. They are in priority order and have been assessed in terms of their contribution to ‘consistently poor service’, as determined by mystery shopping.
1. No Consequence – letting staff get away with poor attitude, skill and behaviour. Of course, if you have not set clear standards of behaviour, then you will not have the will or process to reinforce it. Be aware, just telling people what is expected has little impact and has no relation at all to really setting and reinforcing standards. It is also important to be aware of what happens to all staff once they become aware that there is no consequence for doing the job well or badly. They stop trying.
2. Hopelessly inadequate induction – much induction in retail looks at the ‘must do’ things, such as processing card payments and stock control. It is possible (and critical) to do an on-site, cost effective induction that sets standards, trains people in key skills and inspires them to delight the customer.
3. Being happy with ‘satisfied’ customers – unless you have no competition, there is little or no relationship between ‘satisfied’ customers and customer loyalty or customer spend. It is only when customers are ‘delighted’ that they come back and also recommend to others. Some companies spend large amounts of money asking customers if they are satisfied, or very satisfied and wonder why the ratings make no difference to their revenues.
4. Trying to buy loyalty rather than earn it – loyalty schemes have to be reinforced with very clear practices that earn the customers respect. Otherwise they are very expensive ways of giving discounts to people who have no desire to return and take away margin for no benefit. There are far too many schemes in every retailer for them to stand out on their own – surveys show customers don’t even know which schemes they have signed up to.