I believe that most retailers are leaving a ton of money in their customer’s pockets. Money that customers would be happy to hand over if team members followed a couple of simple steps. We all know that it’s less expensive to sell more to your existing customers than attracting new customers. It’s even better for the customer, so it’s an absolute win/win.
What are these simple steps I hear you ask? It’s as easy as connecting with customers when they come into your store and not asking “can I help you?” when you first approach them. It’s realising that customers have had to go through a fair few hoops already, just to arrive at your store and recognising the effort they have gone to, to get there.
The US Retail Doctor, Bob Phibbs, recently shared some research that to me, is so valuable as an insight to why some customers buy and a lot don’t. We often assume that the majority of customers know what they want when they come into a store, the reality is they don’t.
Something like 60% of potential customers come into a store just knowing they want something, but not knowing exactly what that purchase will be. 30% are there to touch, to feel, to compare two products. Only about 10% know exactly what they want. How you treat those 90% of people who don’t know exactly what they want will go a long way to making a sale or not.
This information is critical as this impacts how you roster, as not enough team members when customers are in the store will dramatically reduce sales. Furthermore, the days are gone where your team members can be simply transactors, waiting for customers to approach them with their purchase. Team member have to be proactive, approaching customers with a smile and a willingness to help by asking questions and suggesting solutions.
It gets even more interesting when you bring change rooms into the equation (for those stores that have them of course). Bob quotes author Marge Laney’s research which found that only 10% of browsing customers buy, yet 67% who use the fitting room buy. And here’s where it gets even more exciting, when customers are provided service in the fitting rooms, they purchase three times more than browsing shoppers.
So my question is, how well are your team set up to proactively service customers? If they aren’t, you are leaving a lot of money in your customer’s pockets that should be yours!
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.