Watching Mr Selfridge has made me fall in love with retail all over again. One of the reasons for this is seeing the dedicated care and attention given by the staff to their customers. There is great satisfaction in seeing a customer’s excitement over a purchase they have made which you have helped them carefully choose. Plus, a happy customer is likely to be a repeat customer.
Shoppers are much more informed than they were a century ago because there is so much information available to them now, but general advice only works up to a point. In terms of fashion, what the customer wants and needs to know is “does this particular item look good on me?” and “is this a good purchase for me?”. Moreover, they want the truth, not a hard sell. Some instinctively know what suits them, but they may not understand why and they won’t always make the right choices.
Most of today’s shoppers go to the high street (or online) with a good idea of what they like and what they want but they still need guidance; useful guidance. Not only do staff need to know the product range and what is special about it, they need to understand what is special about each individual client too. Customers come to your staff for advice and you want to build their trust in you. Staff who are trained in the key concept of styling and who have the tools to identify the most flattering colours and styles for your customers will show dividends at the end of the day. You want to allow your staff to be proactive and knowledgeable to increase sales and generate repeat business.
Clients’ lifestyles and personalities also need to be considered when putting clothes together for your customers. You will have clients who want to find the right garment and go, whilst others will be happy to wander around, try it on and chat. Staff need to be able to “eyeball” the customer to figure out what type of client she/he is and to be able to present her/him with what she/he will like and what will suit her/him. In effect, each member of your sales team becomes a personal stylist and is able to help the customer put together the best possible outfit from the range you sell.
From the staff perspective, this also creates more job satisfaction as they will take great pleasure in knowing they can help their clients make a well-informed choice. It adds enormous value to the customer experience and builds trust and loyalty between consumer and retailer.
You can see
Anna De Vere - Director of Training and Development, Colour Me Beautiful
Seminars at Pure London Show 10th & 11th February