The Power of Getting The Basics Right in Retail

It’s intriguing how retailers often seek to dazzle customers with the next big thing while struggling to nail the fundamentals.

These basics encompass several crucial elements:

Firstly, prompt acknowledgment of customers is vital. It’s a delicate balance; too quick can seem desperate, while too long feels neglectful. Many customers leave unnoticed, feeling ignored.

A genuine smile, eye contact, and a genuine greeting are simple yet frequently missed opportunities. Without these, customers may perceive themselves as unwanted interruptions.

Asking pertinent questions to understand customer needs is essential. Too often, superficial inquiries leave customers feeling pushed towards what the store wants to sell, not what they actually need.

Effectively suggesting complementary items is a significant yet often mishandled opportunity for increased sales. By attentively listening and asking questions, subtle cues can quite easily guide additional recommendations.

Promoting loyalty programs positively is often neglected. Failing to inquire about or explain the benefits can lead to missed opportunities for customer retention.

Lastly, bidding customers farewell in a friendly and professional manner is crucial. It leaves a lasting impression and indicates genuine care beyond mere transactions.

Consistency in providing these basics is key. While some stores excel, many others fail to deliver on these basics, leading to customers leaving feeling neutral at best and leading to a potential loss of return business.

The importance of these basics is underscored by a global study conducted by customer experience expert Verint. According to their research, 81% of customers prioritise these fundamentals. Graeme Gabriel from Verint emphasizes the necessity of setting clear standards and ensuring uniform implementation across all team members.

Despite most retailers having these standards in place, they often lack consistent reinforcement. Initial exposure during induction is followed by neglect. Regular coaching and retraining are crucial for mastering these basics.

Failure to get the basics right hinders progress to the next level. This next level involves surprising customers with unexpected gestures, creating a “wow” factor that fosters customer loyalty and business growth.

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.