One of the massive keys to successful retailing is when your frontline team and leaders are all working together in harmony. This collaboration is so powerful and generates a massive positive feeling for customers, who can sense the harmony in the store. I’ve experienced this a few times when I go to a store, there is a positive energy, team members are smiling, customers are doing the same. The whole buzz of the store is positive and this draws in even more customers.
Contrast this to other stores I visit, there’s no atmosphere, no positive vibe and team members are working in isolation. There’s a harshness about the atmosphere, customers are generally serving themselves and team members are busy doing tasks. The results, fewer sales, and fewer customers feeling attracted to stay longer or come back.
Here are 3 tips to improve collaboration:
1) Limit top-down decision making – when it comes to improving customer service, often the frontline team have a much better idea of what is needed as they talk and interact with customers frequently. Limit the ideas coming down from management and instead challenge the frontline team to review and discuss how things can be done better. Provide them with your service data and your service vision and encourage them to constantly review how these could be improved. Celebrate when a great idea has made a difference as this will encourage them to keep on challenging the norm.
2) Get out of the office – this applies to all levels of the business. Leaders need to spend more time in the store, not just serving but observing the interactions between team members and customers. This builds the level of awareness, so leaders know what is going on and can either maintain what’s working and improve what’s not.
3) Walk the walk –This means leaders have to lead the collaboration by encouraging teamwork, recognising when team members help each other out and be the cheerleader of the great things that happen in a store on a daily basis.
The above tips on collaboration certainly feed into one of our sayings which us “Companies don’t succeed, the people do.” Great retailers have amazing people lead by an awesome leader. This takes time and energy, but will have you streets ahead of your competition.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.