Key Strategies to Optimize In-Store Sales Service

By Doron Levy, President, Captus Business Consulting

So here we are, supposedly at the bottom of this economic downturn, but it looks like we may have to keep tightening our belts for a little while longer. We are service driven in retail, so making cuts to the front shop is always tough. Could there be a balance between saving resources and be productive both for image and customer service?

We have only two real priorities in retail: service and image: We display our products so customers can buy them. When optimizing (such a nicer word than slashing) your payroll, it is necessary to completely understand store traffic patterns and individual capabilities. You figure out traffic patterns by reports and observations. You are able to know your team’s individual capabilities by spending time on the floor working with them.

Developing a culture of ownership will dramatically increase productivity and morale. Put things back on the team. If sales are slow, ask them what they think a reasonable target is and work from there. Get them to commit to their own productivity standards and they will own them. Offer special projects to non-management personnel. Challenging them with non-core tasks will keep them interested and motivated

Open the lines of communication. Sharing good and bad news is critical to maintaining forward momentum with your team. Lack of information causes speculation which causes the rumor mill to fly. You can work for years improving your morale and all it will take is one rumor and you will be back to square one. Encourage open communication and exchange of ideas. Ask your staff what they think and ask them what information they would like shared.

We can’t take our service levels and image levels for granted. It’s how we are successful in retail. We also can’t ignore the need to save resources during slow times. Challenging and motivating your human assets will ensure productivity levels are maintained in the face of shrinking labor.

Doron Levy delivers his retail expertise through Captus Business Consulting. During his 20 years in the industry, he has been successful in increasing revenue and margin, optimizing and streamlining retail operations, reducing shrink, increasing employee morale and, most importantly, driving the bottom line. Doron has created solutions and training workshops for some of the biggest names in retail. He is a published author and has contributed to many retail trade magazines and websites. For more information on Captus services for business, please contact Doron directly at doron@gocaptus.com

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