How to Create a Service Culture that Sells

In Part 2 of FTD’s education webinar series focusing on growing your business through customer service, Bob Negen, co-founder of WhizBang! Retail Training expands upon his customer service pyramid to illustrate the importance of training your team to build an excellent customer service culture.

Great Selling Is Great Customer Service

When a customer comes into your shop and feels taken care of in a positive way, they’re going to want to keep doing business with you. Lots of business owners focus on gaining new customers to grow their business. However, Bob emphasizes that when you give your team the skills it needs to sell, it’s feasible to see each transaction increase by 10%-20%. That alone will increase your yearly sales without adding new customers. In short, “The more you know, the better you serve. The better you serve, the more you sell.”

"The more you know, the better you serve. The better you serve, the more you sell.”

3 Parts of Effective Retail Training

Training your team is essential to creating the ideal customer-service-driven store culture. That begins with hiring employees who embrace the culture and strive to give each customer a memorable shopping experience. Bob uses a cooking metaphor: “What’s the secret to good chicken? First, you need good chicken.” The first part of creating an effective sales team is to employ good people. Your team members are the basic ingredient you need to create an ideal selling culture that caters to your customers. Once you have that main ingredient, you’ll be able to properly train or “season” them with the most effective skills needed to serve your customers and grow your business. All team members should be trained on the following:

1. Policies, Procedures, & Operations – Give all team members a clear framework and education about your shop and what is expected of them. When team members understand the rules you’ve laid out, it gives them more freedom to do the job instead of feeling unsure of what they can do.

2. Product Training – Educate all team members on your top products, as well as popular items for particular occasions. Do they know what kind of flowers are traditional for certain holidays or events? Are they educated on which flowers are bestsellers? The more knowledgeable they are, the better they will be able to sell to your customers and meet their needs.

3. Sales Training – Team members must be taught how to sell. Just because an employee is friendly or talkative doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to build a sale. Additionally, product training is NOT sales training. Bob stresses that training isn’t an event, it’s a process. Incorporating weekly training to reinforce proper sales techniques will directly impact your bottom line.

The Perfect Purchase

Properly trained employees will effectively help your customers buy the perfect products for every occasion. Customers will remember that positive buying experience and continue to shop at your store. Strive to achieve the 4 key moments of truth for a perfect purchase experience that results in customer loyalty:

1. The customer is happy with their flower choice when they purchase.

2. The customer or recipient is happy with the purchase when they get home.

3. The customer is pleased with their purchase a few weeks or months down the road.

4. The customer is so pleased with their purchase experience that they come back to you the next time they need flowers.

6 Steps to a Perfect Purchase

Love your customers and the money will follow. Train every employee on these selling techniques that focus on building a relationship that leads to customer satisfaction.

1. Greeting – Establish a relationship with the customer through an engaging comment on the weather, giving a compliment, or some other question that doesn’t involve a “yes/no” answer.

2. Questions & Listening – Asking key questions like “Are you looking for a gift?” or “What occasion are you shopping for?” gives you more information about the customer and why they are shopping. You’ll gain more knowledge about the customer so you can better serve them.

3. Show & Tell – Now that you know why they’re shopping, show them the products that will work for them. “These colors are great for a baby shower…” or “Peonies and roses are popular for wedding bouquets.” Your product knowledge gives them options so they can decide what they feel good about purchasing.

4. Close the Sale – Once they make a selection, don’t leave it open-ended. Close the sale, assure them they made a great choice and ask how they would like to pay.

5. Adding on – Closing the sale is a great time to add on additional gifts or cards that are related to their purchase.

6. Thank You – Let the customer know you appreciated working with them and hope they enjoyed their experience and purchase. Inform them about upcoming events or occasions.

If you’re interested in viewing the full webinar, How to Create a Service Culture that Sells, you can view it on-demand on the FTD Mercury Network YouTube channel here.


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