Gina Obert
By Gina Obert on April 28, 2016

In-Store Customer Engagement: Retail Customer Service Training

Retail customer service training may very well be the most important differentiator for brick-and-mortar stores in today’s omnichannel world. How effectively your employees engage shoppers in your store can make them into customers for life — or send them fleeing to your competitors.

But despite customer service’s essential role in store operations, not every merchant has implemented a retail customer service training platform that educates staff on how to deliver world-class customer experience. It’s not enough to simply put bodies behind the point of sale terminal and hope for the best. To win in physical retailing, you have to have a plan.

If this is your first foray into creating a retail customer service training program, read on to discover a few helpful tips to get your employees on track to win the hearts — and wallets — of your shoppers.

Turn That Frown Upside Down

What should every customer see upon entering your store? A warm, welcoming smile. Impress upon your staff the importance of greeting each shopper with a smiling face and an open, helpful attitude. This creates a positive environment and might be just what the customer needs at that moment. A smile sets the tone for the entire in-store interaction.

Be sure employees offer a friendly greeting as well. A simple, “Hi, and welcome to [store name],” may be all that’s needed to show shoppers how much you appreciate their presence. By greeting all who enter, your staff is showing that they’re available and ready to attend to whatever shoppers might need.

Smiles are Contagious

We’ve all heard it before: enthusiasm is contagious. Make enthusiasm a part of your workforce culture during retail customer service training. This likely is easier said than done, of course. We’re all human and we all have our troubles, stresses, headaches, and more that are waiting for us once the workday is over. But when they’re on the clock, employees should focus on the task at hand: serving the customer enthusiastically. The energy and positivity your workers demonstrate will create a lasting impression on customers and encourage them to return for another great shopping trip. Enthusiasm turns a simple transaction into a memorable experience.

Be Helpful by Cross-Selling

Great customer service means giving shoppers more than what they came into your store for. When conducting retail customer service training, make it clear to your staff that when engaging with a customer, they should encourage cross-selling by suggesting additional products that work well with what the shopper originally is interested in.

For example, a customer shopping for a red dress might also want to see the new strappy heels that complement the garment’s sleek lines. Or a shopper picking out gourmet pasta probably will want to know about the delicious artisanal sauces, olive oils, and spices blends that can create a delicious one-stop meal.

Cross-selling can open up the customer to a whole new world of possibilities. Educate your staff on how to steer shoppers toward interesting products without being pushy.

The Most Important Words a Customer Can Hear

Impress upon your staff during retail customer service training the importance of saying “please,” “thank you,” and “you’re welcome.” These basic courtesies demonstrate to customers that your workers and your business as a whole respect them and appreciate their patronage.

Remember, great customer service is about treating shoppers as your employees themselves would want to be treated. If the proverbial shoe was on the other foot, what kind of in-store customer service would they want to experience?

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Published by Gina Obert April 28, 2016
Gina Obert
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