accelerate - to cause faster or greater activity, development, progress, advancement, etc., in: to accelerate economic growth.
For all the talk about showrooming, Amazon, the unemployment rate, and everything else that is supposedly having a negative impact on retailers, I continue to believe that we own our future success. There are plenty of opportunities.
Yes, consumers have many more options today than they once did. And you’re one of those opportunities, but you have to maximize your customer relationships and every in-store experience. Your store(s) and staff can’t be on cruise control. The focus, each and every day, must be on accelerating your staff and store’s performance.
Consider these three elements of accelerating store or company performance:
1. Quit chasing your store standards. Owners and managers in my retail management coaching program share examples of the feedback they gave the previous week. I’d say that over half of the coaching is in getting employees to do what is expected of them. That’s cruise control!
To accelerate performance, leaders need to focus on higher levels of skill and execution on their team, and constantly chasing the basics holds that back. The key is to stop making standards optional.
Whether it’s greeting customers, showing additional products, selling down, or whatever standard your staff must meet to be competitive, you have to get to a place where each member of the staff executes every time, or it’s time to find someone else. Yes, it’s hard to find employees, but it’s harder to find and keep good customers. You can’t afford to constantly chase store standards.
2. Focus more on the how and what. We’re all pretty good at telling our staff the results we want. “We need to do $4,000 today.” or “We have to get this big order out while covering the floor.” What many of us need to do better is focus on how and what to achieve the results.
What will the staff do today to create a $4,000 day, especially if they only did $2,800 the day before? What will an employee do with his/her customers today to average $85 per sale? How will the team increase transactions 10% this week?
It all comes down to TLC. Teach it. Lead it. Coach it. Teach your staff how to acknowledge new customers even while already working with someone. Demonstrate how you exchange names with your customer. Share feedback with each employee about how he/she transitioned the customer from one category to another.
3. Keep driving change and constant improvement. Look at the key words in the definition of “accelerate.” Activity. Development. Progress. Advancement. It’s the routines of retail that hurts us. Teams get into ruts because their leaders are in ruts.
We encourage each of our clients to reach for daily development and improvement in him/herself, in their staff, and in their approach. Status quo for brick and mortar retailers is the kiss of death. You will get showroomed. Customers will buy from Amazon or another competitor. You won’t have enough customers if you aren’t driving activity, development, progress, and advancement.
So let me ask, how much are you accelerating your store and team’s performance. Maybe even more important, are you accelerating your own personal performance?
Doug Fleener is a proven retail and customer experience expert that helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their results. Visit our website or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create an extraordinary experience and results.