Saturday, July 16, 2011

How much Technology do you need to Aid in Retail Sales and Good Customer Service?

Customer service is the most important part of any retail store.  No service to the customer and no business.  Most Retail Store managers and small business owners would agree that some kind of technology is needed in the aid of customer service.  But it should only be used to aid in customer service.   Audio, video, and computer technologies help in the aid of customer service but they can't replace a real person. 

How many people have gone into a Super Market or Mega Mart Discount store and couldn't find a price. Twenty years ago you couldn't find anyone to get you a price.  Now there are price checkers all around the store, if they work.

Nothing is more important to any retail business then a trained customer service force.  Scripting can be a help full tool for young inexperienced sales people, but they need to know how to use it.  You don't want a robotic sales force just going though the motions.

Information is key to learning to do any job correctly.  Teaching your sales people how to respond to customers is key. They have to be knowledgeable about what they are selling.  They need to know if an item is in stock,  price, when it will be coming into stock, what other stores may have it, other items that are like it, how it is used and other items that may tie in for extra sales. That where a computer come in handy.  Being able to give a customer the information they need on the spot is key to winning over the customer the the time you come back with the information.  Make them wait and they may be gone by They also have to know why the customer wants the item and if its is the right item for them.

 Scripting is a good learning tool if it is used to teach a sales person but it need to be adapted by the sales person in the aid of learning what the customer wants and guiding them into buying it.  No one wants a Robot just  asking scripted questions. 

Recently I was ordering at a well known fast food restaurant.  The sales person asked me If I wanted my meal medium or large.  I joked with her that I wanted it small.  She answered it doesn't come small.  I joked with her how can that be, "Medium" means in the middle.   How can you have a medium with out a small? The sales clerk didn't get it because they weren't taught to improvise and converse with people as if they were people.   All they know is my manager told me to ask medium or large?

New technology maybe coming soon is, when you scan your item at price check you can get more information about it.  Some have suggested a audio or video being used to sell or suggest other items that tie in with your scan.  

Use technology to help train and aid, but never try to replace a well trained sales person.

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