Why Your Employees Aren’t Advocating Your Retail Brand

Why Your Employees Aren’t Advocating Your Retail Brand According to the “Employees Rising” study from Weber Shandwick, social encouragement has an outsized impact on employer advocacy among employees. For example, employees with socially-encouraging employers are significantly more likely to help boost sales than employees whose employers aren’t socially encouraging (72% vs. 48%, respectively). Makes sense. The study goes on to say that: “One in five employees (21%) is estimated to be an employee activist, and another 33% have high potential to be employee activists. As the movement grows at an increasing speed, employers have an enormous opportunity to engage and capitalize on these powerful advocates, or risk missing out on an important group of supporters and, at worst, fail to curtail detractors whoRead More

Branding & Today’s Retail Customer Experience

Branding & Today’s Retail Customer Experience “Retail is a customer business. You’re trying to take care of the customer—solve something for the customer. And there’s no way to learn that in the classroom or in the corner office…” – Erik Nordstrom, Co-President, Nordstrom Inc. Nordstrom is known for delivering exceptional service. Erik Nordstrom, despite being part of the family that owns the company, worked his way up inside the family’s organization and had experience in various departments in the business. This experience helped him understand the retail business on a granular level first, thus enabling him to perform better in a variety of leadership roles inside the Nordstrom organization as his responsibilities grew. As retail leaders, even the ones in the home office,Read More

The Retail Disconnect

The Retail Disconnect Sometimes during the course of reading or researching a topic I think is relevant to our industry I come across really interesting and important statistics. The challenging part is seeing that this information is so available to us but we are (a) lacking the ability to identify these challenges could apply to our organization or (b) recognizing that they do, but we are unable to create an effective plan and currently do not have the leadership capability to elevate the results in the company in learning & development and bottom line impact through customer experience. These gaps are definitely an opportunity for most retail organizations and we need a strategy around them to improve and deliver needed development to bringRead More

Elements Of Great Retail Customer Experience Program

Elements Of A Great Retail Customer Experience Program In retail we have no shortage of “Steps Of Customer Service”. Unfortunately, most of these steps are so completely shallow and pedantic that all that results is, mostly, uninspired and anonymous service from the cashier role which is, frequently, the only interaction. Customer Experience needs to be included as part of the organizational culture in order for it to be taken seriously. Everything we do should be aligned with delivering a better, more personalized, energizing, engaging, and interactive experience to our customers. This needs to be a commitment that is embraced and followed from the top down in retail organizations. In the past week here is some of the recent retail news: True Religion PacSunRead More

‘Constructing Happy’ In The Retail Workplace

‘Constructing Happy’ In The Retail Workplace [For Employees & Customers] A great workplace culture. Delivering best in company results. Creating a customer experience that drives brand loyalty and growth. None of it is easy. It takes a lot of time, tears, martini’s, and hard work. But I can say this…it is significantly easier to invest the time and energy into building excellence through guidance, communication, and support – than it is to maintain a “good enough” team, deliver mediocre levels of service, and constantly excuse why you can’t maintain consistent numbers or levels of performance. I read yesterday that another retailer, PacSun, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Creating a great workplace and a great place to shop – a store, district,Read More

Inspiring Your Part-Time Team Members

Inspiring Your Part-Time Team Members According to the Hay Group, median turnover rates for part-time retail workers averages approximately 67% in 2015. As most retailers know we rely heavily on part-time employees in our stores to protect scheduling. Depending on the retail organization part-time workers make up a lot of the scheduling (outside store leadership) flexibility. Because most retailers hire sales in at part-time, I have met some great talent that has to hold two or three jobs to make end’s meet. These are also the people who will leave quickly if they are given a better opportunity, more pay, more hour elsewhere – hence the high-turnover. The issue is that these workers are no different than your full-time employees in terms ofRead More

The Genesis of Thriving Retail Workplace Cultures

The Genesis of Thriving Retail Workplace Cultures Workplace culture – it’s something that we hear [and talk about] all the time [seriously…all…the…time]!! Some retail organizations do it really well – according to Fortune & Great Places To Work here are the best retail organizations 2016: The Container Store [Ranked 14 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For] REI [Ranked 26 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For] Build A Bear [Ranked 45 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For] Ikea [Ranked 63 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For] Nordstrom [Ranked 92 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies To Work For] There you have it – these are the five retailers that made the list – only one fashion company.Read More

Net Promoter Score & The Customer Experience

Net Promoter Score (NPS) & The Customer Experience In 2003, Fred Reichheld, a partner at Bain & Company, created a new way of measuring how well a brand or an organization treats the people it interacts with—how well it generates relationships worthy of loyalty. Extensive research has shown that your Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, acts as a leading indicator of growth. If your organization’s NPS is higher than your competitors, you will likely outperform the industry/market, and managing your retail organization to improve NPS will also improve your business performance. Retail organizations that use NPS as the foundation of a measurement framework that is tightly tied to the customer experience can determine where they stand in the market quickly and frequently. HowRead More

Competing With “Good Enough”

Competing With “Good Enough” At any given moment, on any given day approximately 70% of our employees are disengaged in their jobs and probably disenchanted with their retail organization. 18% of disengaged employee actively undermine their company and coworkers. Which leaves us with about 52% of employees who are doing just enough to get by so they don’t pull focus and open themselves up to coaching/counseling. Which means they are doing just “good enough”. There is an odd reality in retail and with retail leadership – every retail organization speaks to hoping to become a “world class employer” or a “best place to work” and we create best practices and establish benchmarks that we believe will help us create a business and buildRead More

Brick & Mortar Retail and the Savvy Omnichannel Shoppers

Brick & Mortar Retail and the Savvy Omnichannel Shoppers   There is no doubt that one of the fastest changing components of our industry is the customer piece – up until about five years ago we couldn’t stop talking about “Customer Service”, four years ago we started talking about “Customer Experience”. Now, I hear rumblings of “Customer Engagement”. All I know for sure is that the phrase “Customer Service” is a thing of the past. It is an expected, rightfully so, component of the interaction your customer has with your brand, regardless of how or where the interaction originated. We are seeing customers in a brick and mortar retail store on their smartphones checking if they can get a better price on theRead More

Reinventing Retail Learning To The New Normal

Reinventing Retail Learning To The New Normal I feel as though we are seeing a very important evolution inside our Retail industry. Both on the consumer side and the employee side of the business. The Washington Post published an interesting article on January 12th, 2016 titled, “Shoppers Are Choosing Experiences Over Stuff, And That’s Bad News For Retailers“. Some of the things they are opting for over and above “stuff” are: • Travel: record high sales in the airline industry • Food: +8% (beating the +2% estimates) • Media: Video streaming services and games Additionally, “vacations and dining out are each projected to see a 27% increase in consumer spending between 2015 and 2019”, according to a study conducted by market research firmRead More

Happy Employees = Happy Customers [And Higher Sales]

Happy Employees = Happy Customers [And Higher Sales] There is no big secret as to the Top Reasons why people leave their jobs – if you don’t know them, you can read my article on it here, but these are the Top 5 in a nutshell: (1) The Supervisor (2) Workplace Relationships (3) Work Culture (4) Rest & Relaxation (aka: Work/Life Balance, Vacation) (5) Opportunities For Growth I don’t know anyone who doesn’t understand the concept that if you invest in your employees and create a “best place to work” for your team, you are encouraging a level of service that they will pass on to their customers. What is lacking in the big picture is the ability to execute. The financial investmentRead More

Organizational Success: What You Need To Know

Organizational Success in #Retail: What You Need To Know The amazing team at DDI recently published their Leadership Development Road Map and some of the statistics were pretty shocking and critical to know if we are going to effect change in 2016 in our businesses. You can click on the link above to view the interactive infographic (which is very clever and a great read) but here are some of the highlights that immediately resulted in my brain working through a plan-of-action on how to elevate our current and future leader’s competencies: Are Leaders Ready To Deliver? -40% of leaders say the overall quality of their organization’s leadership is high -25% of HR professionals view their organization’s leaders as high quality -15% ofRead More

Retail Customer Experience

#Retail Customer Experience In a previous post titled – Let’s Make The #Retail Customer Experience Great In 2016! – I covered the more organizational topic around how to set your company employees up, through training/development, for providing great customer experience. This post is really for the team members who are interacting with the customer and mapping out a basic plan to deliver the service levels conducive with providing a great experience. What do our customers want? There are some challenges inside retail being that it is no longer just a brick-and-mortar business but, instead, an onmichannel and multichannel experience for the consumer. However, there is still power in having a product in-hand today so when you have customers in your store – itRead More

Let’s Make The Retail Customer Experience Great In 2016!

Let’s Make #Retail Customer Experience Great In 2016! I am committed to making 2016 a great year both personally and professionally for myself. I am also committed to protecting my industry by reinventing my strategy, leadership, and overall approach to the business to resonate with the changing landscape that we experience, weekly, in retail. There are several reports on how challenging Thanksgiving Day was for brick-and-mortar retail so far Yahoo Finance, Thanksgiving Shopping Crowds ‘Good Not Great’; Online Sales Strong, from Business Of Fashion, Online Sales Surge Ahead of Brick-and-Mortar Retailers’ Big Day, and from Wall Street Journal, Black Friday Shopping – With Thinner Crowds. We also learned about the Cyber Monday Results; From Business Of Fashion, Cyber Monday Sales Jump, High TrafficRead More