Smile, Seduce, Sharpen – Tim Jeffrey 15th May 2011

Whilst working with our client MTI it was my pleasure to be invited to Ukraine to present my ‘Five Star Customer Store Experience’ to the senior managers of their subsidiary brands, Plato, Intertop and Kiditop.

The focus of the presentation was to ask the question, ‘why do we need to create a brand experience in our stores?’ A question that many retailers may ask themselves when considering how to make a difference to their brand.

For me, a well designed experience will not only protect against commoditised selling by creating reasons to buy other than the cheapest but it will generate long-term customer loyalty, encourage return visits leading to consistent footfall with improved average transaction values.

Benefits of a positive customer experience

The benefits of a positive customer experience are conversation rate, average transaction value, loyalty with repeat visits and increased footfall and brand advocacy. It is important to create improvements in conversation rate and average transaction value as these will have a positive effect on footfall, loyalty in turn leading to continued brand advocacy.

The ‘Five Star Customer Experience’ theory culminates into a well-designed experience that drives business performance.

From this presentation I want to share with you the importance of people when designing a great customer experience for me these are the 3 S’s; SMILE, SEDUCE, SHARPEN.

Smile

Nothing works as well as a smile. Whether it’s nature or nurture a smile says a thousand words and is the shortest distance between two people. When someone greets you with a smile it’s difficult not to smile back. When meeting someone for the first time research has shown that we have 7 seconds to create a positive or negative impression. Smiling is your opportunity to create a positive outcome.

Seduce

Seduce; don’t sell. If people only bought what they needed shops would quickly go out of business. A compelling product display tempts people to stop, touch, smell and consider for a moment. The seduction process has begun. For the sales staff, how you look, what you know and what you say about the product is an important part that contributes to the success of this principle.

Sharpen

And finally, sharpen – good front of house habits ensure you never pass a mess, retail is about the detail, customers expect the best experience. Dirty, untidy, unattended displays or service points send out the wrong message. Would you buy an item of clothing or boxed product with dust on? Fresh, shiny and new is what is expected. Great retailers can never stand still; there are always jobs to be done, all of which have a direct relationship to selling product. It is rumored that five star retailers cannot fold their arms!