Sales is the lifeblood of every business and in retail it’s certainly getting tougher. Traditional stores are suffering flat or decreasing traffic counts, which makes it tough to grow sales. However there is a way to grow sales and it’s been around for years, unfortunately most retailers are missing out.
According to a recent study by the International Council of Shopping Centres in the US, 73% of customers say that good customer service encourages them to spend more money. Wow, that’s the magic secret revealed right there! I’m sure it comes as no surprise, yet too many customer interactions in traditional stores are just transactions. Customers are being served by team members more concerned about putting stock away or worse still focussing on their phones with the result being poor service, let alone an amazing experience.
The same study revealed that just over half of shoppers are willing to pay more for a particular item or service if they know they will receive strong service during the shopping journey. Service does deliver an increase in sales and a potentially higher price if it’s done really well.
However before we get all excited about selling more to every customer, I believe team members have to earn the right before they can suggest additional products to customers. Our number one rule before trying to suggest anything else is you have to provide excellent customer service. If you can’t get the basics right then the chances of growing the basket size is pretty much impossible.
So the number one process to immediately follow up on is, are your team providing the best level of customer service on a consistent basis? If not, this is a key area to focus on, because this alone will increase your sales and it’s highly likely these customers will also come back.
Once you have your team consistently providing great service, your team can now focus on increasing the basket size of these customers. As I have mentioned many times before, in my blogs: 5 Simple Ways To Increase Retail Sales, Right Now! and How To Upsell And Do It Brilliantly I try and avoid using the language of up-selling and add on selling as a lot of team members reaction to these terms is negative. Instead it’s just a matter of suggesting additional items that will complement the customer’s initial purchase.
Sometimes this is a basic process such as suggesting drinks or additional food items, which may add just a few dollars to the sale, right up to the level where the team member suggests additional items that add $50 or more to the original sale.
The secret is it starts with great service and then simply making suggestions that are relevant to the customer. If your team do this your will increase a number of KPI’s, namely Items per Customer (IPC) and Conversion rate – how many customers took up the offer.
I know this works, as I have recent experience at doing just this. Serving food items, I converted 49.7% of customers to spend another 50c or $1.00. It may not sound like much but over a year it adds up to close to $30,000 of additional sales. Who doesn’t want that figure on their bottom line!!
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.