Musings on information and application, just looking, and more


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One of my favorite sayings is, “Information without application has little value.” Most retailers are really good at sharing information. There are new product trainings. There are customer service trainings. Memos. Meetings. Videos. Online modules. There is a LOT of information available, but how much application is happening?

Whether you’re a single store or a thousand-store chain, ensuring application of new knowledge and skills is essential. This can be done with tools and mechanisms like roleplaying, staff observation, manager and staff feedback, staff worksheets, online reporting, etc.

A training or a memo is only the starting point. As the leader, you must put into place the mechanisms to make sure your information becomes action. Think about that the next time you hold a training or make changes to your sales and service experience.


Of course you’re just looking

As sure as the sign rises and sets each day, you’re going to hear customers say, “Just looking.” While not asking questions a customer can answer with “just looking” is key, you’re still going to hear it.

The best response is to acknowledge the comment in whatever way works best for you and then add that you’ll check in with her in a little bit. This way, when you reengage her you’re just following up with your commitment.

Salesperson: “Hello and welcome to XYZ.”

Customer: “Just looking.”

Salesperson: “Great. We’re glad you’re here. Try on any items you’d like, and I’ll check in with you in a little bit.”

Now, when the salesperson reengages he isn’t being pushy, he’s just doing what he said he would do. Try it out, it works.


Some things for you to chew on…..

* Smart specialty retailers are always creating a big deal out of something. That’s how you drive incremental visits and word of mouth advocacy.

* The better a store, the more opportunity to improve sales and profits. While that may seem counterintuitive, great stores can drive incremental improvement. The key is to identify the areas of opportunity.

* Don’t underestimate the impact display windows have on driving traffic into the store. Don’t overestimate the impact display windows have on sales. Your staff still needs to convert the traffic.

* I don’t believe that retail and politics are a good mix. Why alienate potential customers?

* If a manager or owner is worried about store standards and customer experience when they’re not in, they’ve got a major issue they need to take action on.

* Sometimes it’s the littlest things that help you stand out. Southwest airlines sent an email out last month with the subject line: “? Check Out These Fall Travel Deals — Book by Thursday!” It’s amazing how that little checkmark made that email stand out among all the others.

* Here’s a great idea. Offer your customer a special offer or gift with purchase if they’ll announce to their friends on Facebook or Twitter they just made a purchase in your store. Don’t complicate it; just have the customer show you the post on their mobile phone.

* I don’t expect you to agree with everything I write about. Heck, sometimes I don’t even agree with me. I do hope that what I write gets you thinking, and even better one or two of the ideas help your business.

Until next week….be extraordinary!

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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