The Retail Doctor's Blog


Attract, Close & Delight Your Customers

5 Critical Skills How To Coach Retail Salespeople

Bob Phibbs

The opportunities for coaching retail employees are huge and exemplified in this brief story...

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Topics: Retail Sales Training, Employee Management, retail employee

How To Reduce Retail Employee Turnover

Bob Phibbs

For CEOs and hiring managers, retail employee turnover can quickly turn into a black hole that devours profits.

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Topics: Employee Management, retail employee, turnover

Attracting Customers To Experience The Store Is Only Half Of Retail Success

Bob Phibbs

I used to be the Chief Marketing Officer of a coffee franchise.  

My office provided all kinds of marketing support for new stores, a complete promotions kit – even a costume character.

We knew how to get people to the stores.

The best operators took advantage of this and understood all our efforts stopped when the customer reached their front doors.

For it was then that the brand promise morphed from a digital or printed image, to the face of the person working behind the counter.

And that is when the brand was judged adequate or found wanting.

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Topics: Marketing, Employee Management, retail employee, customer experience, retail customer service,

10 Non-Negotiables Customers Expect When Visiting A Retail Store

Bob Phibbs

In many ways, retail is a lot of moving parts and yet in others it is very simple: Treat customers as you would want to be treated.

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Topics: Retail Sales Training, Employee Management, customer experience, retail customer service,

How To Interview And Discover Amazing Retail Employees [Hiring]

Bob Phibbs

I made an orange dessert for some friends the other night. When one of my guests took a bite, his face soured; he said it tasted bitter.

I took a scoop and realized there was a rotten spot on the orange I hadn’t noticed; I had ruined his dessert.

Like most retailers, you want guests to view your store in a positive light.

You spend a lot of time and money getting them to the front door but that’s where it all ends.

Once a customer steps into your store, your salespeople become the face of your business.

Whatever impression customers are left with after interacting with your salespeople is the only impression that matters.

And you never want bitter...

If you aren’t picky about who you put onto your salesfloor, you can ruin the entire experience for your customer.

This is one of the many reasons why hiring the right salesperson is critical to your success.

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Topics: Retail Hiring, Employee Management, retail employee

7 Eye-Openers For How To Hire Great Retail Employees

Bob Phibbs

Prior to his opening, I was asked to visit a franchise to evaluate his new crew. I discovered the team members were bland, boring and shy.

None of them were customer-focused.

Without that, the store would fail disastrously.

When I asked the small business owner why he hired them, he explained, having had a background hiring for a set of convenience stores, “I just wanted to be sure they wouldn’t steal from me.”

While the chances of a great hire are about 50%, many employers continue to pick the wrong employee over and over. 

How does it happen?

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Topics: Retail Hiring, Employee Management, retail management

How To Use Your Fitting Rooms To Fight Online Retailers

Bob Phibbs

When I was in high school, Tommy Smith showed up bald one day.

He had shaved off all of his hair and not just on his head but on his legs and arms and chest. 

He was on the swim team, and he wanted to gain the upper hand against our crosstown rivals.

Plenty of other guys on the team had heard about removing their body hair to speed up their times; many had even purchased the razors but never committed to using them.

Apparel shops are a lot like those guys…

They put dressing rooms in their stores only to not use them.

I thought about that today as I was reading Marge Laney’s new book, Fit Happens, Analog Buying In A Digital World (Legacy.) She cited an Accenture study that revealed 70% of online apparel is returned due to fit issues.

Let that sink in a minute…70% returns

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Topics: Retail Sales, Fitting room, store design

7 Critical Things Your Retail Employees Won’t Tell You

Bob Phibbs

One of my earliest retail consulting clients was a coffee house.

One day I noticed the tip jar had $5 and $10 bills in it.

While one could dismiss the large bills as a result of making change for the register, I had to find out the truth myself.

One morning I stationed myself at a table that had a clear view to the register and tip jar.

I came to find out those $5 and $10 tips were in exchange for items ordered but not rung up. Since they were all doing it, no one told the owner.

That’s why We're Stealing From You is the first thing your associates won’t tell you.

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Topics: Management, Employee Management, retail employee, training for retail customer service

How Bad Retail Customer Service In One Location Tanks Sales In All

Bob Phibbs

Like a lot of people, I love Chipotle.

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Topics: Retail Sales Training, retail customer service,

Retail Businesses To Indiana: You Can’t Discriminate

Bob Phibbs

Alabama has run from a divisive law after Wal-Mart stepped into the conversation by saying the law, "threatens to undermine the spirit of inclusion present throughout the state of Arkansas and does not reflect the values we proudly uphold.”

That came prior to the Indiana legislatures’ 180 that they would change a divisive measure billed as a religious freedom law, to make clear that it does not permit discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

That was after a number of big businesses called out the law as discriminatory.

I find great hope in the events of the past week.

Business has been the catalyst for calling out discrimination.

It wasn’t always that way.

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Topics: Retail

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