The purpose of the following article is to present some examples of customer support in retail. My experiences within Kusmi Tea Canada have indeed allowed me to work, train and manage branches to receive customers in store. So today I want to come back to present one of the elements essential to any business: customer reception …
It goes without saying that having spent two years in hospitality in the early 2000s also helped me to better train, train and help my teams once I was in charge.
In my opinion, before even the sales capacity, the most important criterion in the selection of my employees was their capacity to welcome the customer, while meeting the brand image criteria required by the high-end brand.
Why is it important to know how to receive customers in store?
Like Jean Paul Belmondo inculcating in Itinerary of a spoiled child to say “hello”, there are no two opportunities to make a good first impression. Particular importance should therefore be placed on this element. For some sellers, this is something innate. For others, it was necessary to work on their “transformation”.
The main thing in reception is to find your way rather than following a written protocol that the sellers should have followed scrupulously (that said, they already had enough to memorize in terms of product characteristics).
1- Welcome to the banality speech
“Hello Madam, what a beautiful day we have had this morning! “.
If the small talk (the American small talk) can sometimes be disparaged, it is however a very good way to break the ice and establish a first human contact.
Besides, don’t we always say in Anglo-Saxon language: “Hello, how are you? To each person you meet? This almost systematic addition to the basic “hello” somehow shows that it is not enough …
Rather not recommended in the high-end, familiarities are a way to tell a regular customer that you have recognized him.
“How lucky to see you today sir / Ah, are you back for your Assam tea?” “.
Familiarity is an important element of personalization that allows loyalty to people working on site; the greatest difficulty residing in the chosen formula: neither too direct nor too subtle.
3- The points in common
One of my salespeople often had the technique of talking about his life when he knew it could echo that of his client.
“With this type of product as a gift, your host will no doubt make you taste it at the end of the meal, this is what happened to me the last time I arrived with this gift box.”
This requires adding personal touches to his speech and ensuring that he remains authentic, because some sellers sometimes seem calculating in order to better direct their sales.
Guiding the client without pressure allows him to understand that he will above all be advised and not used. “Personally, I like to start with this part of the store and finish with the accessories side / Take your time to look. Some people stay at least half an hour just to smell our products. ”
preamble without pressure, it is then possible to propose, a few seconds
“Would you like a basket”, “Can I put you aside what you have already selected”, etc.
5- Continue interactions
If it is important to keep in touch, it will be essential to try to gauge the client’s non-verbal language: analyze their body positioning, their questions and their looks.
Each client is unique and some will not like to have more than one interaction while others will be more demanding.
6- Train your teams
The studies are instructive: almost a third of store salespeople receive no training. Also, sales reports indicate that 44% of customers know more about products than sellers.
For our part, after having carried out a two-month integration with each new employee, I imposed a three-hour collective meeting every month in order to recall the important elements in progress, take time to train new products and techniques. sale and finally share each other’s techniques.
Remember that while it is important to follow sales and customer reception techniques, it is also essential to develop a close relationship with your customer (and therefore work on the customer experience). Letting your employees find their best sales formulas and behaviors once trained will therefore be a way for your customers to feel at home … as at home.
In future articles, and after talking about the importance of events, I will come back to both customer posture and sales techniques. Do not hesitate to follow me to keep you informed of all my publications.