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Gestione nel settore retail

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Diploma in Customer Service
Customer Service in the Retail Industry
Management in the Retail Industry
Management in the Retail Industry
The previous units of this module detail how important customer service is in the retail industry.

For a retailer to offer excellent customer service consistently, a culture of superior service must exist in the organization.

Such a culture must be defined by management. Furthermore, management must ensure that employees constantly exemplify this customer service culture.

This unit will describe how a manager should implement a customer service program within a retail business.

Training
Before employees can provide excellent customer service they must be well trained. Management should train employees in the following areas:

1. Equipment: Employees should be taught how to use all operating equipment they are required to use such as cash registers, pricing machines, etc.

2. Resource Materials: Be sure employees know where and how to use any reference materials that they might need to use such as manuals, lists, etc.

3. Resource Personnel: Be sure employees know who to go to for help and to find answers to their questions and their customer’s questions. Encourage all personnel to help each other. There should be designated personnel to train in specific tasks and areas.

4. On the Job: Much training will be accomplished hands on, with instruction and help being given at the same time. Employees should ensure they pay attention and stay focused during their “on the job” training.

5. Expectations: All personnel should thoroughly understand what is expected of them. They should understand that their first priority is customer service. Tell them they are expected to be courteous, attentive, and helpful. Rudeness and avoiding or ignoring a customer will not be tolerated.

6. Consequences: All personnel should understand the consequences for failing to meet customer service expectations. The commitment to deliver excellent customer service is not just a policy, it is a job requirement.

Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for sustaining excellent service behavior in employees. Reinforcement should be given to an employee immediately after they perform well. Managers should recognize behavior and acts that contribute to a pleasant and positive customer experience. The more immediate the reinforcement, the more powerful it is.

Employees should be recognized for their good work and for their good customer service skills. We all need positive reinforcement and like to be acknowledged for our contributions. Supervisors and fellow employees should work together to be sure that each person on the team is recognized for their outstanding customer service efforts.

Principles of Positive Reinforcement
Retail managers should be aware of and utilize the following principles of positive reinforcement:
Once behavior is established, a relatively small amount of reinforcement will maintain that behavior.
The more immediate the reinforcement, the more powerful it is
It is important to reinforce both excellence and progress.
Reinforcement should be specific.
Reinforcement exists only in the eyes of the beholder: not all things are reinforcing to all people.
It is important to use reinforcement to help people link service behavior with service results.

Maintaining a Positive Environment
Maintaining a Positive Environment
A positive working environment is one in which employees are likely to provide a excellent customer service.

Positive reinforcement goes a long way to create such an environment.

However, employees have other needs which also need to be met to ensure a consistently high level of customer service.

Click on the tabs on the left to view these needs in detail.

Appreciation
Staff work harder and happier when they know their efforts are appreciated.

Managers should tell employees that they are appreciated and encourage workers to express their appreciation for each other.

Lead by Example
Managers and supervisors should constantly represent an ideal employee.

They should be an example to the people they work with. If a manager behaves in a friendly, professional manner, so will his/her staff.

Involvement
Everyone must be involved in focusing on the customer, providing positive customer service, and in reinforcing that behavior throughout the store.

Managers must keep staff members who do not interact regularly with customers aware of this fact (store room staff, office staff, etc.).

It is not just the job of the person at the service counter to provide good customer service, it is everyone’s job.

Responsibility
Everyone must take responsibility for seeing that each customer is greeted, listened to and helped.

Contact with each customer should be a positive experience, and the customer should not have to seek assistance-they should be offered assistance.

Store Appearance
Well trained, helpful employees are extremely important to a retailer’s customer service experience. Just as important however, is the appearance of the store. The exterior and interior of a store has a huge influence on a customer’s retail experience. With this in mind, managers must be constantly mindful of how a customer views the store during their shopping experience.

There are four key points in a customer’s shopping experience where they will judge a store based on its appearance. These points are as follows:

1. Before They Enter the Store: Before a customer enters a store they evaluate and form opinions based on the outside appearance of the store. Window displays, signage, and even the parking lot will all help to form the customer’s overall impression of the store. The customer will decide if they look clean, well kept, well lighted and generally well maintained.


2. As They Walk in the Door: As a customer walks in the door more opinions and evaluations are formed. The customer will notice if the store is clean and orderly. They will decide if the layout is easy to understand and if the signage is helpful.

3. During: During their shopping experience customers want to see that merchandise is organized and displayed well. They will decide if the store has what they are looking for.

4. Making a Purchase: As they make their purchase the customer will notice if the register area is neat and clean. They may also look for signage that explains the refund/exchange policy.

Remember: The customer service philosophy of a organization is defined by management.
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Management must seek to have an organization that delivers the kind of service they would expect as a customer. This is the kind of service that makes a positive, lasting impression on customers.

You must always remember what good service is from your customer’s point of view. You need to meet expectations and satisfy needs in a positive manner. In providing excellent customer service, strive to be reliable, responsive, reassuring, and empathetic. To the customer you are the company. They do not distinguish between the company and its employees.

You should always strive to create a customer service experience that creates long term customer relationships. It costs five times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep one you already have. Customers prefer to stay loyal than to search for a new retailer. Give them a reason to keep visiting your store.


END OF UNIT:
Management in the Retail Industry

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