Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Asking can I help you is not good shop floor customer service 

Mark Fletcher
December 20th, 2017 · 4 Comments

There was a time when asking a shopper can I help you? was good customer service. Those days were simpler in retail. 

Today, with competition tougher than ever and shoppers more informed and more powerful than ever, our shop floor engagement has to be different to back when the simple question was good. 

Today, we have to engage with shoppers in more creative and appreciated ways. Get it right and sales will flow. Get is wrong and you will turn shoppers away. 

It is the gift / toy / homewares and related spaces where shop floor engagement is key as that is where our competition is toughest. 

My advice is to develop shop floor shopper engagement tactics that are right for products you have and that you train your team members. Telling them to go talk to customers is not enough. Telling them to say to customers can I help you? is not enough. 

Work on it with team members. Role play.  

Here are some tips that may help.

  • Send a team member to the shop floor with a new product in hand, something you are sure will sell well. It has to me new to the business. Send them out with a simple opening line: Hey take a look at this, we just got it in today and I reckon it is very cool. The best way to work out words you are comfortable with is to start somewhere. 
  • Demonstrate products.
  • Use the products on the shop floor and encourage shoppers to do this with you.
  • Unpack and price on the shop floor.
  • Move products.

Active engagement on the shop floor of any sort with products can drive shopper interest and from this flows sales.


Category: Newsagency management

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 andy // Dec 20, 2017 at 6:31 AM

    Hi Mark
    most people just want to get in and out so can i help you still works here especially at this time of year


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Dec 20, 2017 at 6:44 AM

    It is different for different situations Andy. I wrote the post not thinking about a specific time of the year though.


  • 3 ERIC // Dec 20, 2017 at 8:24 AM

    most of my customers are professional people , they have long day and don’t want to be bothered plus i have more sales after hours around 6pm to 8 pm when most shops are closed ,they found it relaxing to shop.


  • 4 Stacey // Dec 20, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    Lets face it the Golden Casket counter is designed to trap the staff behind it. We always have a floater on the floor in the busy period even if they’re sweeping the floor and just say hello. They assist the customer and another staff member will process the sale when they finish browsing. If possible we introduce ourselves, “Hi I’m Lynda, can I pop those items behind the counter while you browse…..Zoe will take care of you now, have a Merry Christmas.”
    Greeting every customer makes a huge difference to the overall experience and something I personally notice when shopping.
    I’m always impressed when in the US at the level of customer service particularly at Anthropologie which is a huge, busy store yet can feel intimate just by delivering exceptional customer service.


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