The retail industry is dropping. In it’s current downturn, retailers are struggling to make a profit. With shopping options being so vast, it’s becoming a tougher industry to succeed in. There are many key factors that attribute to the decline of retail. Most notably, the current state of the economy being the easy scapegoat. Another key contributing factor is online shopping. This past Cyber Monday was record breaking – perhaps a sign of things to come.
The one component retailers will always an advantage of over their internet competition is customer service. Good customer service and a positive shopping experience has the ability to trump anything that online shopping has to offer.
There’s still a big market out there for big box retailers but with marketing being limited, their best way of generating business is on a store level. From the managers on down, a great team can be the difference between ending the year in the black vs the red.
The employees of a retail store are the faces of the company. Shoppers associate employees with businesses. A good first impression can not only lead to a great shopping experience, but it can also lead to free marketing in the future. Every customer that walks through the door is an opportunity to help grow your business. Grassroots marketing is a proven method to expanding ones business. A good experience may be shared by a few, but a bad experience will undoubtably be shared by many.
According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a customer that has a bad shopping experience tells between 9-15 people. That’s a staggering number when you put it in perspective. That means every time some leaves your store unsatisfied, they’re telling their friends, which more than likely means, those friends are telling others too. It’s a never ending cycle that has the potential to crush a small business.
Customer service is becoming somewhat of a lost art. The robotic “hello” you hear as you enter a store is somewhat depressing. Sincerity is the best way of not only engaging a potential customer but it’s the best way to help your business succeed. If you don’t care about what you do, you’re in the wrong field.
At a 67% turnover rate amongst the part time work force, it’s becoming harder and harder to find good people with the passion that it takes to work in the retail industry. When you do, hold on to them. Let them know they’re appreciated. You might just make the difference in their day, and your business.