Retail Excellence do You Make The Grade

As a Customer service speaker, I got the opportunity to address Ireland’s top retailers at the Retail Excellence Conference recently -here are some of the thoughts I shared: The Leader is the culture creator – one that has the ability to empower or disempower internal or external customers – thus real progress starts at the top. In this circumstance “To know thyself is vanity” isn’t accurate ….”To know thyself” is essential! As highlighted in 2007 research highlighted by Stanford Business Advisory Committee; self awareness is the most important attribute a Leader should develop.

In the current attention deficit society in which we reside, not forgetting of course the more challenging times; we need to move from the old transaction model of sales to an emotional interchange – make your message memorable or watch it get lost in space. Leaders need to think differently on how to build sustainable long term relationships pondering such questions as “How can I get business for my client?” The old model was clearly “I sell – you pay! Thanks and have a nice day.” The new model is “how do I convert my customer into a friend so they won’t leave my business. I need to go further than providing a good product or service – I need to exceed their expectations.” One surefire way of doing this is if I send business their way.

There is no room for lack of engagement or passengers in the new selling organisation. In the retail environment, everyone within eye contact of a client should acknowledge their paymasters in a non invasive way that shows you are there and ready to help if called upon. Regardless of whether you are the busboy or the doorman, everyone should be primed to focus on creating a wow experience for the client. “Wow” of course means making the transaction as painless and as swift as possible also.

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We need to be able to deal with a buyer’s best friend – their mobile phone! Leaders need to empower and convert their team into Sales ambassadors who have full knowledge of what’s happening online in terms of product information/reviews etc. The secret to engagement is in a persons DNA – Do Need Attention. It is ironic how we spend so much money attracting clients to our premises and then underwhelm them with our levels of customer service while there. Seeing that you have invested heavily attracting the client ensure that your culture empowers people to buy! You don’t need to be a Customer service Speaker to remember my opening thoughts! The Culture Creator is the Owner/ Leader.