Front-end Retail Executives & How They Can Help Increase Sales
Identifying the problem and giving a solution is the biggest job opportunity for the retail associate. The retail associate is now empowered to solve the problem of a customer and give them an alternate solution…
BS Nagesh, Founder, TRRAIN, on how helping identify consumer problems and providing them with solutions is the biggest opportunity for in-store employees
The power of the Retail Associate is not understood in most retail businesses, with the exception of a few service businesses, like beauty parlors, restaurants, high end electronics or made to measure apparel.
Today, every customer, whether online or offline, is looking to solve some problem of their own. Identifying the problem and giving a solution is the biggest job opportunity for the retail associate. Artificial Intelligence and online technology is solving the problem by offering multiple solutions to an unknown problem by asking the customer to choose the solution as per her needs. The retail associate is now empowered to solve the problem of a customer and give them an alternate solution.
Noteworthy is the story of an international winner of the IGDS 2017, Segio Diaz from Harvey Nichols, Dubai. Diaz helped a busy customer do up his entire house over a period of time. He understood the customer’s requirements, kept suggesting various alternatives on e-mail, getting the customer’s approval to place orders and then getting the same installed in the customer’s house, thus helping him re-decorate the entire house and in turn building a huge revenue for the retailer as well as a big commission.
For his initiative, Diaz was adjudged the winner of the prestigious award for the Best Sales Associate in the World.
Retail associates like Diaz help build trusted brands, all the while aiding the company in gaining the trust of customers and increasing business across the chain.
The national winner of the TRRAIN Retail Awards 2018 – from Titan Eye Plus – has a story a lot like Diaz’s. When Juthika Talapatra – a customer – visited the Kalkaji outlet of Titan Eye Plus, Nitin, the associate who was helping her, noticed that she could not open her eyes properly. Having lost natural elasticity in her eye with age, the customer’s eyelids slouched to cover more than 60 percent of her eyes. She had to consciously lift her eyelids with her hands to keep her eyes open, which was an ordeal for her.
Nitin discussed this with his colleague Mohd. Irfan and came up with a solution for Juthika Talapatra. After mutually discussing many ideas, and rejecting most of them, the two of them came up with a design of adding a support system for the eyelid in the frames itself. It was challenging for the team as
this was a product innovation and they had never attempted something like this.
It was time consuming, yet they did not stop trying and eventually were successful in finalising a design. Correct measurements were taken and Juthika Talapatra received a new pair of spectacles that not only enhanced her vision, but also supported her eyelids and prevented them from dropping. She says Nitin and Mohd Irfan gave her back her old hobby of “writing” with their innovation.
Two creative retail associates together solved the problem of an elderly lady customer through product innovation although it was not part of their job. But for them it was their duty to help the customer buy and solve her problem. Their story got them a standing ovation and Titan Eye Plus brand endorsement.
We can only get the best from our Retail Associates if we believe their role and accept the fact that they are the best and the most important last mile connect for our companies.
Retailers need to train and skill their employees to get into conversation with their customers so that they understand the problem they are trying to solve or the need they are trying to fulfill. Once the retail associate is equipped, there is no stopping and the till will keep ringing forever.
RETAILERS NEED TO TRAIN AND SKILL THEIR EMPLOYEES TO GET INTO CONVERSATION WITH THEIR CUSTOMERS SO THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM THEY ARE TRYING TO SOLVE OR THE NEED THEY ARE TRYING TO FULFILL.
The national winner of the TRRAIN Retail Awards 2018, Nitin & Mohd Irfan from Titan Eye Plus Gold receiving award from Kishore Biyani & B S Nagesh
International winner of the IGDS 2017, Segio Diaz from Harvey Nichols, Dubai