Doug Fleener's

The Day Makes the Year

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You Are What You Say You Are

Jun 05, 2024

At a meeting with the store managers from the same company, I asked them what they wanted their customers to say about their store and staff.

The answers varied, but the most repeated answers were:

* The staff is very nice (or friendly)

* The staff is very knowledgeable.

* They have a great selection of products.

* It's a good-looking store.

* It's a fun place to shop. 

Two managers said they wanted the customer to say how they always buy something when they visit.

Guess what? Those two managers have had the top store performance for three straight years.

That's right. I was able to match up the manager's answers with their store performance.

You see, you are what you say you are.

Those two managers go in daily, focusing their staff on the best experiences resulting in a sale.

Others want their staff to be friendly and knowledgeable. Or focused on how pretty the store is.

Of course, the top-performing managers also want those things because they lead to a great customer experience that results in the highest possible sales.

You are what you tell your staff is important.

So many stores “help” customers. The most successful stores help customers make a purchase. Isn’t that what brings customers the most joy and satisfaction?

I also learned those top managers also had some of the highest mystery shop scores in the company. 

The entire staff knows purchases truly measure the customer experience.

Like any store, not every single customer will make a purchase. But when your staff is focused on customers making a purchase, the great experience sets up the next visit and purchase. 

What do you think your staff wants the customers to say about the store?

If it's not directly related to the customer making a purchase, you just need to evolve what you champion daily.

Remember this:

>  Staff actions impact the customer experience.

>  The customer experience impacts the purchase.

>  The purchase is the ultimate measurement of the customer experience. 

So let me ask three questions:

  1. If your store has a dressing room, what’s the funniest thing a customer ever left behind? (I once heard of a staff finding dentures in their dressing room. What on earth were they trying on?)
  2. What’s the lamest excuse you’ve ever heard someone give for not buying something? (I worked at The Sharper Image, and a guy told me he couldn’t buy an item because his wife thought he was out of town. Alrighty!)
  3. What will your staff say? What adjustment can you make to help your staff better connect the purchase with the customer experience?