Some retailers have chosen the slippery road of discounting as a strategy to bring more customers into their doors. However, so have lots of their competitors. It’s actually uncommon to go into a shopping mall and not see massive discount signs displayed in the window. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a bargain too, but when a retailer’s strategy is to always be selling by discounting, this is killing their margin and their business. Plus this strategy attracts the price shoppers, who don’t care about much else but getting a bargain.
I have always believed (and research will back this up), that the majority of customers will pay a higher price if they receive a better level of service. Trouble is, a lot of retailers provide average service at best and wonder why their customers don’t come back. To be able to sell without discounting takes courage and also it’s critical to look the part (both the store and the team) so the customer’s early expectations are set high. Then the in store experience has to deliver on the promise.
This requires the store leaders to set high expectations for their teams, set challenging but achievable KPI’s and follow up to ensure the expectations and KPI’s are being met. Store leaders need to be coaching constantly and deal with non-performers and not leave these critical conversations as this sends the wrong message to other team members and customers. If it’s too easy for non-performers to survive in your business, then your top performers will often end up leaving as a consequence.
Being a retailer that sets and delivers on great customer service is not easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it. As retail is fundamentally a people business and recruiting and managing people is challenging, your retail business can stand out if you get this right.
Or you could settle with what everyone else is dishing up and be forced to head back down the discounting path and have to deal with the price shoppers.
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.