Why Having Clear and Non-Negotiable Expectations Is Essential

Every retailer has their own set of rules (expectations, standards etc) – the rules their team need to follow when dealing with customers, when performing their duties, and the general rules of the business. My question is always – do you and your team live by these rules?

Unfortunately, I don’t see this happening anywhere near enough in the retailers I visit or hear about from colleagues and friend. I’m sure every retailer includes in their customer rules things like the following:

• Stopping tasks and approaching customers
• Smiling and greeting customers
• Listening and providing a solution that suits that customer
• Farewelling every customer

There are a few more but I wanted to highlight the above to make my point. If every retailer has these as their most basic rules, why doesn’t it always happen? I hear many stories and experience it myself of walking into a retailer and not receiving some or worst still, any of the above. I’m sure you have had the same experience when you have been a customer.

Now it’s time to get honest – does your team always follow the above rules? Do you? And is this done consistently? – by this I mean every time and not just when they feel like it.

How do you get your team to live and breathe your non – negotiables?

Here are my 5 tips:

1. First you have to have them!!! Most retailers will, but maybe it’s time to relook at them and check if they are up to date and please ensure they are customer focussed.
2. Make sure your team know what the rules are – how can they do what you want if they don’t know what they are?
3. Ensure your team know the reasons why they need to deliver on these rules, not just because you said so.
4. Managers must lead by example – if you don’t your team are highly unlikely to.
5. Follow up and give feedback – the ultimate test to see if your team are doing what you want them to do.

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.