“Do you have this shirt available but in an extra-extra small?” This question, or any variant of it, is familiar territory for a professional working in a retail organisation. Inevitably, there will be a customer (or a potential customer) looking for something out of the ordinary. Such requests rely upon specialised knowledge and attention that can only be provided by a well-trained retail representative. Customers also reach out to retail store representatives to make their shopping experiences even more convenient and enjoyable. The challenge lies in ensuring a positive retail experience, no matter which employee the customer ends up interacting with. Quality customer service training can form the foundation of memorable shopping experiences for all businesses, both online and offline.
A retail representative who values their customer’s time will proactively engage with them. For example, if a shopper in the kitchen section keeps sifting through a basket of cutlery, that is a cue for an attentive store employee to step in and offer some assistance. Regularly-held customer support training workshops can include role-playing sessions. Such activities invite participants to place themselves in the customer’s shoes, figuratively-speaking and then empathize with their particular pain points.
There are times when a shopper ends up at a retail outlet or on a website with a long list of things to buy and barely any time. Here is where the utmost professionalism is required. First, to calm their nerves and second, to help the customer make their desired purchases within the time limit. This can easily happen around the busy holiday season or a simple case of procrastination before attending a wedding or a birthday brunch.
Stumped about which shade of blue will work best on the living room walls? Now, that is a job for the in-store colour consultant at the paint store. Imagine, when you finally ask them for some assistance, they hand you a few swatches before hurrying away to help another customer. According to research by New Voice Media, more than 50% of customers will refuse to do business with a company after a solitary negative experience. A store representative who takes pride in the role they play and is motivated to do a ‘good job’ will not miss an opportunity to guide a prospective customer. Regularly-scheduled training sessions build a sense of comradery amongst team members. Not only that, hands-on activities and role-playing workshops allow employees to imagine the customer’s pain points and develop empathy for them as well as their requests.
Customer experience goes above and beyond purchases; it concerns all activities before and after the purchase, too. Consumers are now more aware than ever; the moment they are disappointed your team’s customer service skills, they are likely to switch brands. When an individual makes the effort of coming to your store, whether that is online or at the physical outlet, they deserve the maximum attention and care from the staff. As a manager, you are tasked with meeting the customer’s needs within your company’s retail ecosystem. You and your team should be able to deliver personalised shopping experiences for all potential customers. Only a well-trained employee will be able to deliver all the required information clearly, without getting stuck or being confused. Reorient your team to deliver optimal shopping experiences by investing in customer service training games, workshops, and in-house training sessions.
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