Four initiatives to improve long-term results

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Here are four initiatives to focus on right now for a positive impact on your long-term business results. I’ve written about these before, but I also keep talking with clients and readers who aren’t making positive changes in these areas. I encourage you pick one or two and focus on it as a key initiative through the end of June.

1) Increase your buyer contact capture rate. Of course, if you’re not measuring your capture rate then that’s the place to start. For the rest of you, increasing your capture rate by 5-10% will result in more repeat traffic and additional sales. I believe aiming for anything below a 75% capture rate is usually a mistake, although your store may be higher or lower.

2) A concentrated effort to transition newsletter readers to Facebook. The other day I spoke with a retailer who has something like 2,000 newsletter subscribers and 150 Facebook followers. Be sure your “Like us on Facebook” logo is at the top and bottom of your newsletter, and try a targeted Like Us on Facebook campaign that rewards customers for Liking you. You might also consider using QR codes in the store so that customers with Smartphones can Like you right in the store.

3) Measure – or increase – employee average daily sale (ADS) and units-per-transaction. It doesn’t matter if you have individual, group, or even no sales goals; not measuring the productivity of every employee is a lost opportunity. So is not having a sales goal, but I’ll save that for another day.

As I work with specialty retailers I often see large productivity gaps between employees, and if an owner or manager hasn’t measured that gap it is impossible to determine the most productive place to focus time and effort.

If you do measure and regularly use individual ADS and UPT data, consider an initiative to raise the company average by 5 – 10%. Use these numbers as a way to drive a strategic objective and not just to review past performance.

4) Set specific targets for any under-performing employee to achieve or else be asked to leave. I recently came across a great metaphor that applies here. Under-performing employees are like fish. If you pull the fish out of the refrigerator and it doesn’t smell so good, you don’t put it back in the refrigerator, come back and check a few days later to see if things have gotten any better. It never gets better! Or at least that’s the case with the fish, and rarely does the employee improve without your assistance.

Either get the employee to where you need him/her to be, or promote him/her to customer. Probably 95% of our employees do a good or great job, but it’s that other 5% that is leaving money on the table and losing customers to competitors. Time to set the bar. Either they clear it or they don’t.

So let me ask, which initiative will you execute over the next eight weeks?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.

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