Monday, January 12, 2015

Naturalize Citizens to Serve Your Store

Consumer behavior researchers have long noticed how some people frequenting a store go out of their way to help the retail business serve its customers. The researchers named this phenomenon Customer Citizenship Behavior (CCB). The help might include assisting other customers who happen to be shopping in the store at the same time; giving suggestions to the store owner for improvements; and enforcing store standards, such as tipping off staff about a shoplifter.
     We’d like to cultivate CCB. A tool for doing that is service scripts. I’m a fan of scripting what we say and do with shoppers. It’s not that I expect the retailer to recite the exact words I suggest or carry out the precise actions I propose. It’s that I find scripting a good way to explain what I mean. Then I recommend the retailer be flexible in adjusting the phrasing and behaviors to fit the personality of the store and the salesperson’s style.
     The scripts also should fit the shopper’s style, and that introduces another three-letter acronym: CNK for Customer Need Knowledge, defined as how well the salesperson accurately and promptly identifies each shopper’s needs and desires.
     Researchers at University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Jena, and University of Muenster find that when CNK is high, service scripts usually cultivate Customer Citizenship Behavior. But when service scripts are performed by employees with low customer orientation, the service scripts discourage CCB. Shoppers exposed to these scripts become less likely to provide unsolicited feedback to store staff or to express interest in giving the store more business.
     My guess is that this is because low CNK leads to the script being delivered with little sensitivity or sincerity. It also can be because the salesperson fails to identify the type of talk the shopper wants at that point. Create your scripts with three sorts of language:
  • Conventional. Initiating conversation about the latest Hunger Games flick or sports scores develops rapport and passes the time of the service or product delivery more pleasantly. 
  • Commercial. We’d like our verbal transactions with shoppers to end in commercial transactions. Ask for the sale. 
  • Ceremonial. Culture dictates what we say to the consumer if we want to create store loyalty. With certain people, it might be “Hello, sir,” while others expect, “What’s up?” The “Have a nice day” fits fine with some shoppers, but strikes others as smarmy. 
For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Branch Out Scripts to Allow for Rituals 
Guide through Rituals with Ceremonial Language 
Staff Your Store for Customer Need Knowledge 
Warm Up Cold Calls 
Show Respect in Front of Customers

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