The mystery shopping work we do for clients is always interesting in what it reveals about the sales process as well as the experience of being in a customer’s shoes—and how closely that experience aligns with what the company is really intending.
In fact, it seems that no matter how high tech or cutting edge a company’s sales training program is, it’s the “customer experience” basics
sales people seem to fail on time and again. And those just happen to be the things
customers say they value most and that often influence their purchase decisions.
This is only going to become a bigger issue for retailers going forward as social media and smartphones make it easier than ever to spread the word about bad customer service and unpleasant sales experiences. Remember the old commercial, “and she told two friends, and she told two friends…”? The story about that rude sales associate is guaranteed to be repeated and shared again and again in today’s digital world.
Amplify’s CEO Joe Trueblood recently spoke with Michael Koploy of Software Associates about what retailers should be covering in sales training to be sure their associates have the skills and motivation to build the right customer experience.
Joe points out that in a retail setting, sales people often are the customer experience. Training has to give them the rationale,
confidence and skills to make that experience exceptional for every
visitor. He recommends that training cover:
- Building the “reflexes” to greet, listen, show interest and respond to a variety of customer situations and requests in a professional, warm manner
- Strategies and techniques for dealing effectively with upset customers
- Relevant company policies and procedures, and how those should enable exceptional customer service, not hinder it
You can read more in Empowering Associates to Assist the Educated Consumer.
What do you think? Are retail sales associates prepared for the demands of today’s consumers? What are some of the skills you want to see in the sales people you interact with?