In 2015, a Wharton School of Business study found that stores that rated high in customer satisfaction were those with knowledgeable associates, and that those knowledgeable associates boosted sales.

It is no big revelation that great customer service is what helps retail businesses gain the competitive edge in the market. Excellent customer service has the potential to boost buyer satisfaction and change someone’s perception of a brand. However, organizations fail to realize that this positive image of the brand can be represented by those who regularly communicate with the customers. This should not be ignored with the sole objective of making profits.

 Retail businesses can use scenario based learning to empower their employees and enable them to successfully handle and respond to challenges. Here are three ways in which customer service training comes to the rescue:

Here are three ways in which you can improve your customer service:

1. Engaging the customers

Customer satisfaction is the goal everyone is trying to achieve in retail business. The success of any retail business depends on exactly how customers view the brand. The way customers are treated right during their time at the store can make or break a brand’s reputation.

Customers buy products and services that bring them value, that matter to them and help them make their lives easier. They are looking for the best solution among the sea of options available. At the same time, the new age customer is smarter than ever, and has probably done a lot of research before coming to the store. Retail staff need to have the knowledge and expertise to meet the needs of customers and help them choose the best product for themselves. To be able to assist the customer queries, retail staff not only needs to patiently listen and understand their needs, but also have enough knowledge of products at the store to be able to recommend the right choice. All this needs to be done with an innate desire to make the customer happy.

A great customer service goes above and beyond just the point of purchase. It covers all the aspects before, during and after the sale of a product or service. Customer service training can be the biggest way to ensure that all these diverse aspects that influence a sale as well as the mindset of a customer are well taken care of. Customer service representatives need to be given tools that can help them know about products and services at length and be more confident while approaching customers. At the same time, training also helps cater to the core values of the organization.

2. Building rapport with customers

A big challenge in retail is unhelpful customer interaction. The kind of words employees choose, their body language, tone, and mannerisms affect the experience customers have. Anything which is not well thought through can make brands lose out on potential customers.

This is why training in soft skills is as important as product knowledge or other technical aspects. The first impression a customer gets when she walks into that store can determine whether they will be future visits or not. Ask if your employees are really helping people with the right answers and the right attitude. If not, try to understand where the knowledge and skill gaps exist and rectify them with proper training.

For an area like soft skills, scenario based learning is one of the most helpful ways. It helps employees learn through real life and relatable situations in a risk free environment, and helps them handle situations more effectively when on the job. It also keeps them more focused and engaged during the training because of the use of interesting role-plays presented in visually appealing ways. Concepts like making a sale, customer interaction, handling customer complaints, communication skills and aspects of a professional body language can be covered in such trainings.

3. Boosting sales through cross selling and upselling

Cross sell and up sell have been helpful in boosting sales in retail for years now. But it is important to do it right.

There are a lot of misconceptions about up selling and cross selling. Teaching retail staff about these concepts theoretically can never truly help them understand it and apply the same on the job. But through scenario based learning, each and every aspect of the selling process can be explained through real life examples. This makes learning all the more interesting and ensures higher retention. Though scenarios, retail staff can understand how smart communication and product knowledge can make them create beautiful shopping experiences for customers, without exerting force of any kind.

Customer service training can help staff learn about products, markets and also browse through content that they need at their own time of convenience. Making a successful sale is no less than an art. It requires the perfect blend of excellent communication skills, thorough product knowledge, understanding of customer needs and being a good judge of customer behavior. Customer service training through scenario based learning can enable retail staff to grasp these intricate details more effectively. It can help them understand the need to offer value to a customer, rather than just meeting sales numbers. Through a variety of examples, up selling and cross selling can be better understood and attempted.

If retail organizations invest in their employees, they will be more engaged to put their best food forward. It is important to make employees feel valued and provide them with professional growth opportunities. Engaged employees suggest more ideas for increasing profits from their learning and try their best to set out a lasting impression on customers. They will do all of this out of pure passion and confidence in their skills, and not just for money. If employees are empowered to be their best versions, they will work harder to make businesses succeed.

If you are struggling with ensuring great customer service, make your employees competent, confident and most importantly, happy. Starting with this can give you the results you desire for your retail business.

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