May 13, 2018
In the retail world, customer service often matters more than the price tag. When people find the perfect fit, they're usually willing to find a little wiggle room in their budgets.
But perfect fits don't just happen. It takes a team of skilled retail pros to drive sales using the power of suggestive selling.
The key is to find ways to relate to each customer's needs and find a way to sell the product you’re offering. It's not easy, but somebody's gotta do it. If you arm your retail team with these seven customer service techniques, you'll likely enjoy an immediate boost in sales:
1. Increase In-Store Sales with Add-Ons
It's kind of like having lemons on the counter at the liquor store or offering shoe strings at the shoe store checkout line—in the end, the little things can add up to big revenue boosters. The profit is in your second item the customer purchases, so find ways to add-on.
2. Listen for Whos and Whys
Many people have stories to tell when they're shopping. Arm your sales associates with the power to listen and hear who your shoppers are buying for or why they've visited your store in the first place. By understanding the reason for the purchase, your sales teams can hone in on specific ways to cater to their individual customers. When a shopper feels attended to, they're more likely to let their guard down and take your associate’s buying advice.
3. Don’t Let Them Walk Away with Just A Gift
Through casual conversation, one of your salespeople learns a customer is buying a gift. That sales interaction should never end with just the purchase of one gift but must continue with the team member asking, “Now, what can we do for you?”
Remind the customer you are talking to that they are worthy, too—even when they're buying someone else a present.
4. Suggest Subscriptions to Replace Common Renewables
Why should Amazon be the only retailer to offer convenient reordering of items that need to be regularly replaced? You can do your customers a huge service by offering a subscription to replace common renewables. People will appreciate not having to shop for things like cosmetics, dog food, energy bars, and toilet paper every few weeks.
This added convenience can be a huge boost to your store's revenue. It'll also bode well for your reputation, as people are likely to tout their happiness on various social media channels.
5. Enhance Consumer Confidence with Easy Return Policies
A lot of times, people won't take advantage of the opportunity to return items; they just want to know they have that option, should it be necessary. By having a customer-focused return policy, your sales team can show shoppers additional items they may be interested in, without causing the shopper undue stress and worry. When people are reminded just how easy it is to return something if it doesn't work for their needs, they'll feel more confident trying additional items.
6. Hand It Over to Subject Matter Experts
Sometimes your customers will have questions not every associate can answer. It's important to ensure that someone with product-knowledge expertise is always available to help them so they don't leave your store frustrated and empty-handed.
Subject-matter experts (SMEs) are great for all types of retail. Make sure your staff is trained on a proper hand-off, though, should they have to employ the assistance of your SMEs.
Let's say Jane walks into your New Jersey shoe store and needs hiking boots that work well with Arizona's high desert. Bill may not be able to answer her questions, but Bill can introduce her to Sally, who is well-versed in all things hiking boot. The hand-off should go as follows, "Hi, Sally. This is Bill. Bill, she's looking for hiking boots for her upcoming vacation in Arizona. I told her you're our resident hiking boot expert and would be happy to help her."
Instantly, the customer feels like she's in good hands with
7. Ask Probing Questions that Can Provide Alternatives
Sometimes, people enter a store knowing exactly what they want—they know the size, brand, make, model, and color. They may be searching for a unicorn that doesn’t exist. If your sales team isn’t ready to respond with probing questions, that customer will likely leave empty-handed. On the other hand, the customer may have something in mind that isn’t actually best for their needs. By asking probing questions, your team can identify products that would best serve your customers and walk them right to the shelves on which they’re placed in your store.
Here are some ideas (of course, they’ll need to be customized based on your industry and the customers’ unique experiences):
- What will you be using this product for?
- Is this a new endeavor for you, or are you a seasoned pro?
- What do you particularly like about the product you’re asking about?
With this information, your sales team should be able to identify similar or better products and reinforce their value:
- This item is comparable to the one you requested because…
- This item is more suited for your needs because…
The customer will appreciate the knowledgeable input and be more likely to buy based on the customized products your associates provided.
Are you ready to get your retail sales moving in an upward direction? It all starts with excellent customer service techniques. Let The Retail Doctor show you the way today by clicking the button below.