Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Coach in the Language of the Employee

Now here’s some news you can use as a retailer!
     “A CSR's locomotion orientation facilitates ambidextrous behavior and interacts positively with an assessment orientation.”
     No, really. The problem is that the advice is buried in babble. It’s from an article titled “Generating Sales While Providing Service: A Study of Customer Service Representatives' Ambidextrous Behavior,” which appeared in the Journal of Marketing. Since my objective in writing the RIMtailing blog is to extract profitability tactics out of high-quality research findings, I’ll translate:
     If you want your staff to generate additional sales while resolving a customer’s concerns about a past sale:
  • Tell your staff you expect them to master the skill of smoothly moving between service, on the one hand, and selling, on the other hand. 
  • Coach your staff to take the time to assess each customer’s distinctive needs, desires, and purchasing style. 
     The research findings give additional insights:
  • When the smooth switching is done well, both sales revenue and customer satisfaction increase. 
  • Because smooth switching uses up time, each staff member will not be able to handle as many transactions, on average. 
  • The switching happens more easily when you grant the staff member more discretion to make decisions in collaboration with the customer being served. 
  • A smooth blend of servicing and selling is less likely when the staff member views himself operating as a member of a team rather than taking individual responsibility. 
     Was I right in saying that there was useful advice buried inside the obscure wording? Then I’ll move to my real point in this posting: When you or one of your store managers is coaching a store employee, take care that the language fits what the employee will understand. Otherwise, what is said may be as incomprehensible to the employee as the gibberish above probably was to you until I explained it.
     And if it is a new employee, the person may hesitate asking what’s meant because they fear that you’ll label them as unqualified. Stay alert for signs of puzzlement. Encourage the employee to ask you questions. In fact, say you truly want questions, and mean it.
     Different people have different learning styles and all people remember best what’s delivered in a range of modalities.
  • Tell the person 
  • Give it to them in writing 
  • Show them how it’s done 
  • Have them demonstrate it to you 
  • Ask them to teach it to someone else and then report the results 
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more:
Repeat Yourself Repeatedly

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