From The Editor | October 1, 2015

3 Ways To Compete On Service


By Erin Harris, editor-in-chief

Retail Service Levels

Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in a webinar for Vend, and the topic was how to win customers without competing on product and price. It’s a great topic; here are some of the points I covered during the webcast.

With very few exceptions, retailers cannot compete on products and price alone; the merchandise can be found elsewhere easily and for less money. Smart retailers compete on service. According to Harvard Business Review, customers who have the best experiences spend up to 140 percent more and remain a customer up to six times longer compared to those who have the poorest experiences.

There are many ways that retailers can compete on service, and here are three of them.

  1. Training and Retaining An Engaged Workforce

Do you want to provide better customer service? Treat your employees better. But how do retailers actually do that?

Hire the right people. Hire people who hustle. Not hustlers, people who hustle. Train them, and train them well; just because they have retail experience does not mean they have the exact experience needed to address your customers’ needs. For instance, train them to greet customers within 10 to 15 seconds of when they walk in the door. Associates should ask if the customer needs help and react accordingly to the response. They should make connections with customers without being obtrusive. Consider equipping them with digital devices that give them the ability to quickly access the same information your customers are seeing.

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