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Loyalty in the broadest sense of the word. Retail customer service
21.03.2018 4703

Loyalty in the broadest sense of the word. Retail customer service

Are you interested in your employees, what professional goals they set for themselves, why they come to work? Do they like what they do? What actions and other factors influence the increase of loyalty of your customers and, ultimately, the sales and profits of the store? How often do you communicate with your sellers on improving the work of the store and service, figuring out why customers come to your store and what needs to be done so that they, customers, are satisfied and will definitely come to you more than once? We are looking for answers to all these questions together with SR expert - business coach Alexander Lyashkevich, who gives recommendations on the competent development of customer loyalty programs.

Alexander Lyashkevich Alexander Lyashkevich - Clever-Fashion marketing director, psychologist, business coach,
an expert in the field of management and development of fashion business. Education: MBA "Management in Marketing" at the Synergy Institute of Economics and Finance.
The main areas of activity: building business processes in the fashion industry, brand management, sales and service management, developing and implementing loyalty programs.
Clever-Fashion is a company specializing in integrated
the development of enterprises in the fashion industry, with 2011, works with
manufacturers, distributors and retailers of the fashion market in Russia and other countries.

It is necessary to ask all of the above questions on a regular basis, since their answers help to determine the degree of trust and understanding between the owner (manager) and the store staff. Test your business - gather your employees and ask them similar questions. It is very likely that you will be surprised at how different the answers will be, as well as how far they are from what is often spelled out in the store’s standards, if any.

“Friends recommended”

The annual “Attitude to Advertising” studies conducted by international research groups show that once again “recommendations from acquaintances” occupy a leading position in the list of advertising and information channels that inspire the most confidence from buyers. According to statistics, at best one satisfied customer will tell three acquaintances about your store, and at least seven will be dissatisfied. Thus, investing in programs to improve the level of customer service is an excellent mechanism for increasing loyal consumers, capable of ensuring the prosperity of the store in the long term, while expanding the customer base, recommending the store to its surroundings.

What customer loyalty is made of

The Russian mentality sets its tone for developing relationships with customers and customers in stores. Often, loyalty and customer service programs at retail outlets include either delivery of goods to customers or standard discount programs. However, objective market realities show that such an approach is no longer effective; there are a large number of approaches and options for building customer loyalty on the market.

In general, all elements of the sales process, organization of the store’s work aimed at increasing profits and creating a sense of profit and advantage of this retail outlet compared to similar competitors can be attributed to programs to increase loyalty and customer service.

These elements include:

  • special events

  • conditions of work with the store

  • presentation and presentation of goods to customers

  • buying process

  • communication with the buyer

  • pre-sale and post-sale work with goods and the buyer.

Why do you need loyal customers?

     1. Increase

  • sales volumes (revenue);

  • The average check in the store

  • turnover with 1 sq. metro retail space;

  • traffic in the store (the number of visitors to the store);

  • the number of new customers (number and average check);

  • repeat purchases (quantity and average check);

  • conversion.

      2. Retention of existing buyers.

      3. Transfer of casual customers to the category of regular, loyal customers.

      4. Cost reduction. 5. Detachment from competitors.

Pleasant addition or life buoy

As practice shows, owners and hired store directors begin to think about customer service programs in two cases:

The 1-th option is when the store is developing dynamically and things are going well in it, as a result of which monetary, human and time resources increase.

2-th option - when things are worse in the store (reduction in the number of customers, which leads to a decrease in profit and conversion).

Thus, the introduction of such programs in the Russian market becomes a pleasant, but not mandatory addition to a successful business, or an attempt to quickly cure a business, returning it to success and profitability.

Service approach - not many

The main component of the implementation of any service program, and at the same time the bottleneck, is the store personnel who will implement it. Unfortunately, it is impossible to learn the service approach, so you need to look for suitable "service" employees with this ability, which can be developed and improved. Not every jobseeker for a seller’s vacancy is capable of being a customer service specialist. Loyalty programs lose their meaning without an appropriate store management system, effective sales techniques and communication with customers. Personnel who do not have the skills of "exceptional service" can nullify the effectiveness of any of the most ingenious and well-developed strategies for interacting with customers. When recruiting staff for your stores, you need to pay attention to whether the applicant is able to be a customer-oriented seller.

The seller of the new service generation must be able to:

  • sincerely interested in the tastes of the buyer;

  • offer the client an experiment with unusual options for him;

  • sometimes just “chatting” with a person to find out more about him (about his client).

If you are a seller and sincerely love your work, customers, the goods with which you work, and know how to cheer yourself up in any situation, then you are a seller of a new service generation!

Also, when working with personnel, it is necessary to monitor how and with what words sellers bring information about the products they sell to regular customers. For their employees, it is necessary to create a list of mandatory, unacceptable in the seller’s work words, phrases, turns and expressions.

Each service program should be developed taking into account the features and formats of the store (network), as well as the uniqueness of the brand’s promise and the features of communications established with customers.

Among the general areas of customer service programs are:

  • Programs for working with regular customers (increase in average bill and frequency of purchase).

  • Programs to increase the speed of turnover of goods at the outlet.

  • Programs to reduce costs and increase the level of profitability of the store.

  • Service programs in the process of selling goods (providing the buyer with a comfortable environment during the purchase, delivery and use of goods).

  • Programs for effective marketing promotion of the store.

Stages of creating client programs

1. Project preliminary assessment stage:

  • What do we want from the implementation of the service program?

  • What tasks should the customer service program solve?

  • Who is the core of the target audience of the program?

  • Will the opinions and wishes of customers be taken into account when implementing the program?

2. The choice of the most effective areas of service work:

  • In strengthening which direction in the store’s activities, the costs will be minimal, and the effect is maximum and the result will bring more profit?

3. Development of instructions and processes for store staff (detailed step-by-step instructions, scripts of conversations with the buyer, training of necessary skills, changing the principles of bonuses, implementation of a system of non-material motivation).

4. Preparation of information for buyers: distribution of information, speech modules for each employee.

5. The implementation of the program. Testing in practice. Feedback collection: monitoring buyers and staff, monitoring implementation.

6. Test (analysis of the results), which should give answers to the following questions:

  • What did the customer service system give us?

  • How much money did we make?

  • The penetration of the loyalty program in relation to the customer base.

  • Are changes necessary?

Effect of the implementation

The main criteria for the implementation of loyalty and service programs should be the profitability of the outlet and the increase in the pool of loyal customers. Programs whose implementation does not bring your store anything other than cash and time costs must be closed.


This article was published in the 132 issue of the print version of the magazine.

Are you interested in your employees, what professional goals they set for themselves, why they come to work? Do they like what they do? What are their actions and other factors ...
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