Infographic_Happy_To_Be_Here_150X118In our latest infographic – Happy to Be Here, we show how the engaged retail sales associate is more productive, experiences greater job satisfaction and produces happier customers who spend more.  So I was thrilled to see this Simon Graj piece today in Forbes. But while both pieces imply it, neither delivers the punch line: Retailers who value their customers, provide them with the best possible customer experience. Those that don’t, really don’t. Period. 

What does that mean?  It means matching the personality and skill set of your sales associate to your shopper. Have a passion for motorcycles? Then for sure you will be more effective connecting with Harley shoppers than you will with mattress shoppers. If you start by sharing a common passion for the item you are selling, you instantly share a special dialect that says to your customer “We understand you. We value your tastes and opinions.” At the same time, sales associates need the time, space and tools required to build and maintain personal relationships. If there is no purchase history, customer database, or calendaring tool available, then how can I possibly email my Harley customer and tell them it is time for their regular service or that we just took delivery of a cool new model?

Personalizing the customer relationship is a proven winner with purchase conversion an obvious outcome of a great buying experience. All things being equal (price, quality and availability) most shoppers will buy from the entity – real or virtual- that provides them with the best experience. It is a personal connection. The more a retailer embodies this ideal, the better their in-store and online personalization strategies and systems will be.