The importance of a memorable greetingThe customer makes his/her decisions based on how he/she feels. Decisions to buy are made based on emotions, so it is up to you as retail sales professionals to
- know that you have the power to influence and
- with the right skills, knowledge and attitude, you have many opportunities to influence positive emotions in the customer throughout your journey with them.
The more positive feelings evoked because of a positive experience, the more likely a potential customer will become a customer, or an existing customer will become a more loyal one.
Why is Greeting so Critical?
A lot of things happen. They all take place within the first couple of minutes after a customer enters your store. They immediately do a visual assessment: How does the store look? Is the merchandise appealing? Is the store welcoming?
When you first greet the customer, you are selling yourself first, the store second, the experience third, and the merchandise last. You want to get the customer feeling comfortable in the store
Greeting a customer needing help
A simple process to follow, greeting phase 1- Your introduction statement: How about opening with something like “Thanks for coming in!”
Think about it. Your customer has an infinite number of choices and a limited amount of time. They could have done anything and yet they came into your store.
Greeting phase 2 - Gathering Free Information After your warm, inviting and professional greeting, you want to engage the customer in conversation. This is how we recommend you do it. You want to exchange names for the sake of personalizing the interaction.
“Hi! Thanks for coming in! John at your service sir, Is this your first time in our store?”
Or you could say, “Hi! Thanks for coming in! my name is John; I will be close at hand if you need my help”
6 Things to remember about greeting
- The goal of greeting is to make the customer feel welcome and appreciated
- Make eye contact when greeting the customer
- Never address a customer from behind -- that’s scary and creates unwanted pressure
- Address customers from a reasonable distance -- no shouting across the store
- Have a unique, memorable greeting
- Never stop greeting! If you pass customers in the store, make sure to acknowledge them with a friendly smile!
Proactive customer management
In customer management it is recommended to follow the following four steps which are
Signposts are a specific and generally shortened form of a transition. Signposts are quick clues to the audience that the speech is moving from one point to another. Signposts are often short statements such as “first, I would like to …” “second, let’s …” and “next,” They are called signposts because they quickly point out to the customer where we all are in the conversation.
Signposting is about giving information to the customer.
After you have given information to the customer it is your responsibility to invite a response from them. We do this through using different types of questions. It gets very awkward when a conversation is built on a customer asking a question, a sales agent giving a response and then silence whilst the customer digests the info and then pauses before they ask something else. They are the most common examples of lack of customer management.
Listening to customers is a basic and obvious part of the interaction with a customer, but that there are specific things you can do to show you are listening, i.e. verbal head nods like aha, mmmm...etc.
Acknowledgement indicates understanding and generates confidence like Thank you, OK, great, lovely, absolutely etc. Remember body language is important, smiling and nodding can not only show you’re listening but also can encourage the customer to say more. Repeating key points back to a customer is key to show you acknowledge and understand their issues or needs.
Customers are initially prospects, so it is our duty to wow the customer when they enter your retail store. Follow the simple but effective steps above to start the process of increasing the numbers of loyal customers using your store.
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