is about providing customers
with relevant (and timely)
assistance, to help them solve
their problems and to meet their
needs and expectations.
Why is customer service so
impoprtant in Retailing?
Defined as delivering service that
meets or exceeds customers’
is a technique that seeks to build long-
term or even lifetime relationships with
their customer base through loyalty
programs, rewards, and customer service.
Is an individual who is dissatisfied
with the level of customer service
offered at a store or stores and is
seeking an alternative store with the
level of customer service that he or
she thinks is appropriate.
COMMON CUSTOMER SERVICES
Alyssa Pearl A. Malonzo
The most common pre-transaction services, which are provided to the customer
prior to entering the store, are convenient hours and information aids. Each of
these makes it easier for the potential customer to shop or to learn of the
In the past, retailers believed that transaction services meant employing salespeople who
would personally take care of an individual customer. But for the profitable retailers of the
future, the term transaction services will mean offering the conveniences customers need
and then helping them get out of the store as fast as possible with their purchases
3) GIFT WRAPPING AND PACKAGING
4) CHECK CASHING
5) GIFT CARDS
6) PERSONAL SELLING
7) SALES TRANSACTION
The relationship between the retailer and the consumer has become more complex in
today’s service-oriented economy. Many products, such as computers, automobiles, and
travel and financial services, require an extended relationship between the retailer and
1) COMPLAINT HANDLING
2) MERCHANDISE RETURNS
3) SERVICING, REPAIR, AND WARRANTIES
5) POST-SALE FOLLOW-UP
Scotte Weid D. Lapira
- Retailer's characteristics include store location,
store size, and store type. It is especially important to
look at these three characteristic when considering
F A C T O R S T O
C O N S I D E R W H E N
D E T E R M I N I N G
C U S T O M E R
SE R V I CE T O
OF F E R
H O W T H E R E T A I L E R 'S SA L E S F O R C E
M E E T T H E E X P E C T A T I O N S O F B O T H
V E N D O R S A N D C U S T O M E R
The services offered by competitors will have a
significant level and variety of customer services
offered. A retailer must also provide these services
or suitable substitutes, or offer lower prices.
TYPE OF MERCHANDISE
The merchandise lines carried can be an indication of the types ofservices,
especially personalselling,to offer. The principle reason is that certain merchandise
lines benefitfromknowledgeable salespersonnel.
1) Price Image
2) Target Market Income
3) Cost of Service
must decide on
their hiring criteria.
predictors to meet
the chosen criteria.
• Greeting the customer
• Using the customer’s
• Saying ‘‘Thank You’’
1. Retailer’s Policies
2. Customer Types
3. Customer Choice
1. Performance Standards
Sales Per Hour
Use of Time.
2. Data Requirements
Retail Sales Process
Several basic steps occur during the retail
selling process. The length of time that a
salesperson spends in each one of these
steps depends on the product type, the
customer, and the selling situation. Exhibit
12.8 details the sales process model.
Prospecting is the search process of
finding those who have the ability and
willingness to purchase your product.
Prospecting is particularly important
when the store is full of customers.
The salesperson may meet hundreds of
customers a day, but the customer is only going to
meet the salesperson once that day.
The key to a successful approach is discerning
the customer’s needs as soon as possible by
asking the right questions and listening. What the
salesperson hears about the customer’s problem
or need is more important than anything the
salesperson can possibly contribute at this point
Exhibit 12.8 Selling
Process in the Retail
Once the initial contact has
been established and the
salesperson has listened to the
customer’s problems and
needs, the salesperson is in a
position to present the
merchandise and sales message
three steps to be
effective when dealing with this problem:
Closing the Sale
Closing the sale is a natural conclusion to the selling process.
Three steps to be effective when dealing with this
1. Always congratulate the customer for making a wise decision. As soon as
customers agree to a purchase, assure them that others have been happy with
their decision to purchase the same item, and you know they will be equally
2. Always send a thank-you note. Nordstrom’s system has shown everyone the
value of these notes by the positive customer responses and referrals.
3. Get the customer in possession of the product as quickly as possible. If the
products can’t be delivered immediately, send updates on the progress of those
orders, even if it is only a phone call or e-mail.
An effective salesperson continues
to sell even after the sale has been
completed. An additional sale is
always the possibility. The
salesperson should find out if the
customer has any other needs or if
the customer knows of anybody
else with needs that can be solved
with the salesperson’s product line.
THE CUSTOMER SERVICES
AND ENHANCEMENT AUDIT
Up to this point, we have discussed the level and type of sales personnel needed in a
retail operation; the types of retail selling; the selection, training, and management of the
sales force; the factors to consider when evaluating individual salespeople, and how to sell in
a retail store.
The audit is usually performed by having the retailer’s staff, or hired researchers,
intercept customers as they leave the store and ask about their experience in the store. The
number of customers interviewed should reflect the size and shopping patterns of each
The objectives of the audit are to:
Identify the service, salesmanship, and sales enhancement methods that will produce
more sales from the existing shopping traffic.
Target the methods by store and selling area that will produce the most significant
Determine the added sales that can be generated by improving the accepted service
level, salesmanship, and sales enhancement programs.
Upon completion, the audit provides management with a detailed analysis of current sales
activity by location and by selling area. It identifies how and where additional sales volume is
available. It measures, analyzes, and reports on the specific factors.
Customer contact. In stores that purport to offer service, there can be no sale
if the shopper has no contact with a salesperson or a cashier. Increasing the number of
shoppers who are approached increases the number of shoppers who are likely to buy.
Salesperson-initiated contact. Motivated salespeople—those who do
not wait for customers to approach them—can prevent walk-outs and generate more
sales from shoppers who otherwise might have to spend shopping time looking for a
Customer acknowledgment. Greeting customers within a short time
frame also prevents walk-outs and provides more shopping time. It keeps the shopper in
a favorable buying mood.
Merchandise knowledge. A salesperson with product knowledge can answer a
shopper’s questions, enhance the transaction, help to consummate the sales, prevent lost sales, and
even add to the purchase.
Needs clarification. Asking the proper questions enables the salesperson to present and
show the proper merchandise.
Suggestion selling. Suggesting additional and/or complementary merchandise may
increase the value of the sale. (The audit should also measure the number of times that suggestion
selling resulted in an additional purchase.)
Active selling. Actively selling the merchandise and volunteering advice about the use and
care of the goods, as well as stating the advantages of ownership, helps to consummate the sale.
Impulse purchasing. Proper selection of merchandise, packaging, location within a
department, presentation, and then servicing the transaction will increase the productivity of shopping
Walkouts. Retaining sales that would otherwise be lost is one of the most direct and
immediate routes to sales improvement. Offering the desired goods in easy-to-find locations is the most
obvious method for reducing walkouts. However, customer contact and salesmanship can be a major
deterrent of walkouts among those who come to buy.
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