Friendly sellers and satisfied customers are not just good for the retail business, they are the perfect picture, the dream of any store owner or manager. The positive climate at the enterprise is the key to success and development, now it’s not just a banal statement, but a proven scientific fact. Learn more about the study and the seller’s ability to respond correctly to the behavior and questions or phrases of the buyer in any situation, says SR expert, business trainer Anya Pabst.
A bad mood is contagious. German economists from the University of Jena have proven that this applies not only to everyday situations, but also to the services and trade sectors. Few people will like it if it is served by a gloomy seller. Also, a dissatisfied buyer affects the working mood of an employee of the trading floor, and if it is systematic, it can lead to emotional burnout of the seller.
According to research, an unfriendly attitude can spread like a cold and worsen the working climate. Clients are exposed to the bad mood of other clients, and from them it is passed on to the staff. In trade, where the profit and success of the enterprise depend on the interaction of buyers and sellers, such phenomena have a direct impact on the size of the profit.
Do not forget about the reputation of the enterprise. The idea of the company at the buyer is formed due to the way the seller introduces himself - the first contact person he encounters when he comes to the store. It depends on the seller whether the visitor leaves with a pair of shoes in a box and returns again, becoming a regular customer. The impression that the seller left about himself will have a noticeable effect on the content of the word of mouth news when the client decides to share the experience with acquaintances and friends.
Together with Americans and Dutch, German marketers and economists conducted a large-scale study on the causes of customer dissatisfaction. Specifically, it was about how customers perceive the attitude of sellers and other customers and, in accordance with this, adjust their own behavior. Summarizing the findings of the study, we can say that customers are much more unfriendly with sellers when they notice that other visitors also behave unfriendly. Like reflection in a mirror, they copy the behavior of others and pass this pattern further down the chain.
So that the discontent of one buyer does not infect everyone
The results of the study can be directly applied in practice. So, if the manager is aware of the “infection effect”, he can take care to correct the situation. In critical cases, for example, in a conflict with a dissatisfied customer, you should separate him from other customers: open another cash desk, take him or other customers to talk to another department or waiting area. Such schemes can be fixed in the instructions for sellers so that they do not get lost in difficult situations, but know exactly how to act in order to reduce the passions, normalize the situation and minimize the negative impact.
Customer service skills are the cornerstone of the seller’s competencies and the basis of the so-called people skills necessary for the effective work of both ordinary service sector employees and middle and senior managers. The basics of communication with both external clients (customers, partners) and internal (colleagues, subordinates) are practically the same and are closely related to the career growth of the employee: the ability to realize professional knowledge largely depends on social competencies.
When developing a scheme to combat infection with negative emotions, it is worth remembering that pressure always provokes a response pressure. This rule applies not only in physics, but also in marketing, and explains why the voices of the parties during the conflict all the time grow louder in an attempt to shout out each other and prove their own case. An experienced salesman should be able to break this vicious circle, and ideally - to prevent this from happening at all. The ability to cope with such a situation at work also protects him from the danger of transferring negative emotions to his personal space, when not only colleagues but also friends and relatives will suffer from a bad mood.
The reaction to conflict situations should be unambiguous: it is friendly but firm to state that you are ready to provide assistance if it is required, but do not intend to engage in an emotional dialogue and get personal. It is useful to remember the installation, which can be formulated as follows: "My life does not depend on whether you buy today or tomorrow, from us or from competitors." If you stick to it, despite how much money is at the checkout until the end of the day, you can avoid unnecessary stress, which certainly will not help increase profits.
The help of colleagues is also important, who can tactfully intervene if they notice that the situation is getting out of control. In this case, team training is useful when the team has worked out possible situations and exit routes in advance. For example, another employee can take care of the client by reporting the first call to the phone, to the management.
Confidence and a smile - the main weapon against the negative and aggression of the buyer
The ability to choose a strategy of behavior with a specific client is a matter of talent and experience. First you need to determine the type of client, and on this basis to build a line of behavior. Over time, this will happen automatically. Client identification begins even before verbal communication begins. Its type is indicated by the manner of holding, a look and behavior in the hall. This helps to choose an effective way of communication in three areas: facial expressions (smile and facial expression), eye contact (direct, friendly look) and verbal communication (word selection, structure of questions, greeting).
Among all types of buyers - from a “tourist” who came into the store just to see without an intention to make a purchase, and a “chatterbox”, who needed not communication and a new pair of shoes, but communication and attention — sellers would certainly prefer to communicate with a “scout”, who is interested in a particular product and came to find out everything about it, or with an “excellent student” who has already made a purchase decision. But one day, the seller will have to face the most unpleasant type - the aggressive one, which just has the most pronounced ability to convey emotional negativity to other buyers and sellers themselves.
Some methods of communication with complex clients are universal and can be used in different situations. For example, an aggressive client often wants to “let off steam” and is initially not receptive to logical arguments, and the best way is to take him aside and give his voice. Nodding and just listening, the salesperson gives the impression of emotional unity. When the emotions end, the time comes for the questions “What can we do for you?”, “How would you like us to be? ..”, calling the client for a dialogue.
The flow of negative emotions of the client can be interrupted by their own positive reaction. For example, a client says to you: “The sole began to peel off two weeks after wearing it!”, And you thank him in response: “Thank you for your message, this is very important for us, as we monitor the quality of the goods and will certainly consider complaints, we transfer their representatives to manufacturers so that this does not happen in the future. After all, quality depends on them. ”
The ability to lead the conversation back on track is required not only with dissatisfied customers. For example, “talkers” can take time to talk about other things. To return the buyer to a constructive course, you need to respond to his remarks in this vein: “Yes, I understand you. This is very interesting, and brings us back to the question of choosing the right model. "
According to statistics, aggressive customers make up only 1% of all visitors. For comparison: actively expressing dissatisfaction - 2,5%, and 5% - these are silent dissatisfied customers. When a client becomes angry from an unhappy and then aggressive (threatens the seller), he can even be physically dangerous, although people who react aggressively often regret it later. It is important to catch the moment of transition: cold eye contact, accusations or even insults, threatening gestures can develop into physical aggression.
The first step in such a situation, as mentioned above, is to take the client aside so that he does not disturb other visitors, as well as try to extinguish his pressure with calm gestures and intonation. Often, such clients are simply looking for someone to frustrate because of personal problems, without substantive claims. A comforting factor is that 90% of customers are positive, however, only 20% of them are actively expressing satisfaction and are ready to become regular visitors.
Regardless of what kind of client you have to deal with, the seller must observe several immutable rules: be friendly and open, but unobtrusive, be able to professionally present the goods and, at the same time, not to fall into formalism, listen to the buyer and show his interest in solving his problems. Trainings that help hone psychological skills are of great help, and such a strategy remains the only true one.
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