When it comes to customer experience, retailers face numerous challenges relating to staff, inventory, returns policy and more. The real heros of a business are their staff members when they consistently make life easier for customers. With effective and regular customer service training, retail staff can deliver customer service excellence. If the staff is under-trained, apathetic or unmotivated, it falls upon the store management to get them up to the mark. The idea is to invest in people as much as in the latest machines and gadgets.
The first step towards improving your potential customer’s in-store experience is maintaining a steady inventory. While it is impossible to have every item in stock all the time, managers must stick to a reliable inventory management system. Some larger retail stores are even testing out day-time stocking pilot programs to better facilitate their customers. An alternative solution can be offering factory-to-doorstep delivery service for in-demand products, such as toys around the winter holiday season.
Has it ever happened that you happily take your item to the checkout counter, hand over your credit card and they return it back to you saying their machine is not working? This is another issue which happens occasionally in retail stores. You will want to ensure that every machine is in perfect working order throughout the day so that your customers do not end up leaving your store empty-handed.
One of the main challenges that retailers regularly face is employee motivation. It may be that their staff members are overworked, disinterested or just undertrained. Custom-tailored customer service training programs can boost employee morale, increase productivity and improve their professional skills set. Understaffing is another issue at stores. The inability to find a sales representative while at a store is a strong reason for an overall drop in sales. A retail store must maintain the optimum number of staff members at all times.
Keeping a laser-focus on customer engagement is a smart way for stores to significantly improve their brand’s customer experience. Staff should be proactive and friendly, both online and offline. As soon as a customer walks into the store, your staff should take the initiative to greet the walk-in customer. This does not mean that salespeople should hover around the customer and not give them any space. Instead, they should be able to study the customer’s body language, and step in for assisting them at the right time.
There are many options for retailers looking to select a customer service training program for their employees. A store manager can choose to incorporate game-based learning into a quarterly ‘away day’ to develop the team’s on-the-job soft skills, such as communication or critical thinking. This methodology makes training fun and more engaging. Refresher courses should also be conducted at regular intervals to keep employees up to date on product knowledge and the brand’s customer experience philosophy.
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