customer service

Put Your Service to the Test

Marketing Mondays - Put Your Service to the Test

We've all have heard that great customer service is the key to success. This is true in any type of business, especially our niche of small, specialty retail stores. We know we can’t compete with the “big guys” on price. Our edge is in offering the best possible shopping experience, in which customers are valued and assisted by intelligent, knowledgeable staff. But, how do we create an extraordinary shopping experience so customers feel great, recommend us to their friends, and want to visit our store again and again?

3 Ways to Conquer the “Just Looking” Dragon

Marketing Mondays - 3 Ways to Conquer the “Just Looking” Dragon

We’re now in our critical fourth quarter, moving from long-term marketing strategies to practical sales techniques to maximize our time on the floor. Today’s Marketing Monday exercise looks at how to engage the customers who are “just looking.”

Dialing for Connections

Marketing Mondays - Dialing for Connections

Somewhere between keeping up with your retail or wholesale business, making sure your images are Instagram and Pinterest-worthy, and making sure you’re creating beautifully merchandised displays, we’ve forgotten a powerful marketing tools that isn’t even a marketing tool at all: the telephone.

3 Ways the Power of the Personal Touch Works in Retail

Marketing Mondays - Power of the Personal Touch

Those who work in the luxury market know this concept well: make your customer feel they’re the only one who matters. Personal shoppers and stylists often call or email their customers when something comes in that they think is perfect for them. That personal touch goes a very long way. Even if you’re not the “touchy-feely” kind of retailer or designer, connecting with your customers shows them you appreciate their business. Here are three ways you can show your customers you care:

Shop Talk: Practical answers for tough business questions

Question: I have a situation you may think I’m crazy for complaining about, but I’m hoping you have a suggestion for us. We have a customer who comes in a few times a year and essentially takes over the whole store.

Shop Talk: Practical answers for tough business questions

Question: I read yesterday that a recent survey showed almost 80 percent of American adults do not approve of retailers playing holiday music in their stores before Thanksgiving, and almost as many resent holiday decorations and merchandise being out before Thanksgiving. But, it seems all the big retailers do it anyway. Is there a guideline for small retailers?

Practical answers for tough business questions.

Question: Do you sell statuary in your store? how do you train your staff to talk intelligently about Hindu and Buddhist deities? There are so many! We carry Buddha, Ganesh, Shiva, Kuan Yin, and Green Tara, but even those are challenging for new sales people. Truth is, I would like to order a larger variety, but I don’t really understand them all myself. Any suggestions?

Shop Talk: Practical answers for tough business questions

Question: Do you have rules about employees surfing the Internet and/or using cell phones? It seems to me my sales people are always “just quickly checking email” or “sending a fast text” if I question what they are doing on the computer or their phone when I walk onto the sales floor.

Stocking for Success

Inventory management may seem like a dry subject, but for retailers, it can have a dramatic effect on profitability. A system that ensures you are carrying the right merchandise in the right quantity is an essential ingredient in a healthy bottom line. Too much inventory will tie up badly needed money while taking up valuable space on your shelves; too little inventory will eat away at your cash flow and disappoint customers you can’t afford to lose.

5 Rules for Doing Customer Service Right

In every industry, but especially retail, quality customer service is a primary source of competitive advantage. Yet, mediocre customer service is rampant. Nevertheless, it’s up to the employer to set and effectively communicate the ground rules for how employees should interact with consumers. If you want to boost sales and drive repeat business, retail expert and author Nancy Friedman (www.telephonedoctor.com) can help you raise the bar with these Five Cardinal Rules of Retail Customer Service.

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