Retail, as a business, is highly customer-centric. Every process or operation in the retail business has to be carried out with the customer in mind. And when the focus is the customers, there are some important aspects related to them such as experience, satisfaction, branding, and loyalty. All these can be addressed by the retailers through ‘service’ which is the essence of retailing. Customer service in retail does not just start and end with the transaction, but it initiates much before that and goes even further beyond the purchase.
One of the traditional methods of doing retail business is through brick-and-mortar stores. Latest trends in technology such as e-commerce and m-commerce have added new dimensions to retailing. They offer customers the convenience of researching for products, buying and having them delivered at their doorstep with convenient and secure payment methods in just a few clicks, from their homes or offices. Yet, the brick-and-mortar store based retailing still prevails and will continue to do so.
94% of total Retail Sales are still generated in brick & mortar stores. Many consumers still look at shopping centers, malls and stores as their preferred location for shopping, so that they can not only see the products but also touch and feel them, try them out, and compare them live. That is not all; another important factor for such shoppers is the human interaction they get to experience by communicating in-person with the store staff regarding various aspects related to shopping.
The store staff have the opportunity to influence and inspire customers and peers, thus being the difference between a sale and a no sale situation. Although their primary objective is to achieve higher sales by driving the customers to make a purchase, their role in the store should not be restricted to merely that. They must also act as an assist to the customer by providing the right information and helping them select the product that best fits their needs and aspirations. Further, store staff should also build a relationship with the customers in a way that would encourage customers to visit the store again.
Thus, store staff that are equipped with the right customer facing skills can prove to be an important asset for the retail business.