Optimize Safe Sales In 3 Steps
In the wake of COVID-19 layoffs and furloughs, it’s time we reconsider how we invest in the success of the valuable people who work in stores.
As people who bravely work on the front lines, they are no longer sales associates- they are our SUPER SELLERS.
In many respects, they hold your business recovery in their hands.
Here’s how to empower them.
These goal-oriented and growth-driven people can take retail brands like yours into tomorrow. If you are fortunate enough to still have valuable teams working in stores, you’ll need to hold yours tight and never let them go!
Post-lockdown, or ‘New Normal’ training will enable staff to help shoppers explore product options in a vastly changed retail environment, to deal with safety and service concerns, and to use online platforms to encourage business.
Store-staff interactions are still valuable– Grail Research/Mindtree found that 43% of shoppers who interacted with associates are more likely to purchase, the sales value of which accounts for 81% more than when compared to customers who haven’t had this interaction.
Here’s how to keep your in-store interactions safe and effective:
Equip for the best
- Provide technologies to loop them in with up-to-the-minute-company safety policies, government regulations, macro trends, or automation for appropriate tasks.
- Respect their health by providing protective equipment as well as contactless payment tools.
- Communicate their own impact on retail traffic conversion rates, include them in new target goals setting.
- Incentivize to excite.
- Provide career mapping.
- Coach with consistent feedback.
- Deploy strategically. Send most sales soldiers out in times of high foot traffic, not according to your historical highest sales hours.
Prepare for the worst
Associates should keep these points handy to deal with difficult situations:
- Acknowledge the customer with a friendly gesture (smiles are covered by masks!) and listen.
While ‘listening’ sounds passive, it’s a very productive skill. When a customer brings something to your attention, their emotion will also help you to understand their unsaid needs or wants. If they’re in distress, acknowledge that and try as much as possible to operate from within their frame of reference.
- Summarize the problem to make sure you have all the pain points noted.
- Communicate what you can do about it, or assure them you will put them in touch with someone who can. And then actually do that, as quickly as possible.
Customer service data will help you to coach your associates to conduct business safely and effectively. From a management perspective it is important to keep customer service as a separate area of focus from simply relying on staff for customer insights.
The best way to track your customer service and its impact on purchases is with the feedback funnel. First, a customer analytics solution (like Vision) measures the journey from passer-by traffic to POS. It helps you identify key patterns in how associate interactions encourage customers to reach the point of sale.
- Are associates giving your visitors the right amount of time to browse before approaching them in a socially distant manner?
- If they are busy with another activity and a customer enters, are they acknowledging the customers and assisting them when needed?
- Is there a particular zone in your store where people prefer to be assisted, and others where they decline help in order to browse freely?
Once you know these patterns, you will know what areas need your most personal attention during your store visits.
You will then be better informed to ask customers more targeted questions, as well as to provide the necessary training to staff.