Mar 8, 2013 / 5:00 am
Once upon a time, society generally accepted smoking in restaurants. Thankfully most establishments in North America have put an end to this practice.
Once upon a time, we threw whatever we wished into the trash. We have since grown to understand the importance of recycling and the positive impact it has on our planet.
Once upon a time many companies insisted and taught their staff to follow, shadow and generally just be pushy and aggressive to customers shopping at their stores. Simple evolution of shopping trends, buying habits and how customers wish to be treated is changing this unsavoury approach for good (at least for those companies that wish to see a bright future of existence).
To be very clear – customer service and professional salesmanship is key to the success of any business. Be there for your customer when they need you. One more time – be there when they need you, other than that, leave them alone.
Fringe? No, reality. The fact is, record numbers of people are shopping from the comfort of their own homes. Buying things online from fashion to furniture, flat screens to flowers, the young, the old, it’s become a way of life. Buying online is convenient, comfortable and calm. Many consumers are just tuning out from the energy draining experience of an overly competitive, aggressive in-store experience.
But listen up! All is not lost for the brick and mortar sector. You just have to learn to ride the wave of change, develop new strategies, and be willing to break some old habits you may have that no longer serve an evolving consumer base.
Here are 5 core values of progressive retailing now:
- Be True – remain honest and authentic to your staff and customers, just tell things like they are. Throw away your old corporate rule book and bring some human nature back to the game. Be true to your customer and give them space.
- Be Respectful – of your staff, your customers, your community, your world. Be respectful of your customer and give them space.
- Be Unique – stand for something, think creatively and celebrate differences. Be that unique, thoughtful retailer and give your customer space.
- Be Relevant – learn, be ready to change, impact your customers with your knowledge when they ask. Be the retailer that cared, taught and gave space.
- Be fun – play, be professional, but always have a light heart. Be the one that they remember: genuine, calm, no pressure, the one that gave them space.
- Always, Always, Always, give more than they expect - in this case less is more. Less of you following the customer around, but allowing the real you to shine when called upon.
The moral of this story – retailing today is about giving the customer space or you’ll be having a "space for lease" sign in your front window. The thing is, it’s your choice. Choose wisely.
Renowned Retail Expert and Strategist Geoff Mintenko is the driving force behind the company Retail-Evolution. He consults and speaks to power retailers North America-wide, sparking innovation, igniting positive change and helping companies thrive is his passion. You can find him at www.retail-evolution.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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