What You May Not Know.
With many retailers the employees are not measured on the lump sum of the sale, but instead the quality of their sales in two different categories. This means that your 500 dollar purchase of a chair is great for their average sale numbers but will dramatically effect the number of products per transaction.
What is “Good Service”?
I know what you are thinking, but this is not done to swindle you, or to train employees to trick you into purchasing items. It’s to make sure the sales associates are on the floor offering quality service, instead of staring at their phones hidden under the cash wrap. Most items you purchase will have accompanying items. A plant should come with plant food, a chair should come with a pillow, and a top should always have an accompanying necklace or pants. Is the team member assuring that you leave with the best quality purchase, or are they just waiting for you to come to them with whatever you found.
After the negative stigma of poorly trained associates, many people say they prefer to shop alone and not be bothered. Having the right customer service should not be consumed with hassle and annoyance from a stalking sales person, this is also a negative form of customer service. No customer should ever feel hunted like prey. A good sales associate should make a personal connection and be more a friend with advice when appropriate and less a sleazy used care salesman. After all they are far more familiar with the sea of possibilities available in their shop than anyone else. It is their job to introduce you to all your options to make for a most satisfying investment. That’s true customer service.
What Happens if I Do Not Reward The Staff?
There is a goal to meet, and not meeting these goals can have consequences on the individual, such as not making their commission, though most the time commission is strictly over all sales based. Not making individual stats though could lead to disciplinary actions, up to termination. Many of my most difficult terminations were having to terminate the employees who were consistently missing their quality numbers.
Think of this method much like the tipping method. The money we make in retail is more than a waiter (by a tiny bit), but we are not allowed to accept tips. Instead our good behavior and stellar customer service can only be rewarded and communicated to our managers through our sales statistics. So by all means, if the sales associate was useless (which, I understand, is super common these days) please don’t go out of your way to enable their employment. But if your sales associate offered stellar customer service and showed real verve for the company they represent, here are some simple things that you may not have considered that could make a huge difference in their career path.
The Tips As Promised:
- Small Additions Count. When you can, attempt to accompany every large purchase with at least one very minor purchase, even a $1 roll of tape added to that $500 chair is a huge boost to their item per sale stats. Nothing is more sinking to these stats than the single item sales.
- Purchase in Three’s. As a rule of thumb I had a boss that taught me that it’s just decent etiquette to try to purchase in threes. This is not always possible, for our wallets or our interest, but do keep the idea in mind. It doesn’t matter if you just purchased two candy bars and a mood ring at the impulse aisle, three is always a stat boosting number.
- Do Not Create Separate Transactions. It’s adorable when you want to teach all your five kids the power of the dollar letting them each individually purchase their own four dollar bracelet. But 5 four dollar transactions can absolutely murder an employee’s hard earned stats for an entire week.
- Make it Clear if You Are Not a Shopper. If you are only in a furniture store or car lot to kill some time, please inform the staff. In most cases the minute you walk in the door an associate is assigned to you and is not allowed to aid another customer until you vacate the premises. They live off of commission, and the time they are available to a paying customer is priceless.
- It Is Simple to Split a Transaction. Don’t be afraid to ask. Instead of making two separate transactions for cash and card, the cashier can easily assist in allowing both card and cash be a part of one transaction.
And as a bonus, if there is some reason no purchase can be made that day, please take the time to contact management about your positive experience. Compliments will not count towards promotions and/or raises, but they will definitely boost the confidence of an employee to continue their can-do attitude.