Here are some snippets for you to consider, and expand on, to improve your retail…
If you are of the opinion that you can hire associates, have them complete ‘new hire’ paperwork, tell them a little bit about your store and your customers, train them on how to use whatever equipment they will need to operate on the job and then unleash them on your sales floor…you are losing sales.
Let’s put it this way…there is no possible way that you are NOT losing sales.
Do you agree?
If you are like thousands of retailers out there, you most certainly do not agree. In fact, you are doing precisely what is described in the opening paragraph and you’re happy about it.
But, that doesn’t mean you’re a bad operator…just an inexperienced one.
Now, for the experienced retailers who just don’t have their act together, that’s a different story altogether.
Here’s an example of what we’re talking about…
Believe it, or not, over the most recent gift giving season…the season where most North American retailers expect to make the majority of their annual target…large retail chains had people on their selling floor who did not even understand the company refund and exchange policy. It’s the most basic policy except, maybe, what payment methods are accepted.
At a time when thousands…or, maybe millions… of gift buying customers would be asking questions about returning Aunt Agatha’s sweater if it wasn’t just the right shade of violet, or Uncle Jim’s power saw if he already had one…we found many, many employees who could not correctly answer the question…
What is your refund & exchange policy?
Why do you suppose that is?
It’s unlikely that this basic topic wasn’t covered during the, admittedly, very scant bit of training these people received.
It’s unlikely that the employees were not able to comprehend the policy. After all, the policy is developed to be understood by everyone – staff and customers alike. It should be simple enough for any person, from any walk of life, to understand.
So, what is it then?
- The employee is confused and doesn’t feel comfortable asking for clarification.
- The customer asks more questions, and more detailed questions, than the employee is prepared to cope with.
- The policy is ever-changing and no one can keep on top of the changes.
- In-store Managers and Supervisors differ in their delivery of the training, causing confusion among employees.
- Employees are rushed and give the customer the brush off or the run around.
- The employee doesn’t care.
- All of the above and more…
Retail sales is not rocket science, but neither is it child’s play.
Invest in training your people to get the job done right. Invest in training your Management teams so they are in a position to make sure that their people get the job done right.
If you fail to do this…you are losing sales. There is no doubt.
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