Maximize your retail revenue: The connection between employee engagement and profit
2023 has been a rough year for retailers. Inflation has caused sales to drop as people are keeping their wallets close to their chest. The question is: How can retailers attract repeat customers and create a culture that empowers the frontline staff to keep improving their skills? You’ll find the answer by looking at employee engagement.
Even though the inflation affects retailers and buyers negatively, there are still some retail chains who have achieved notable success in 2023. Well, why do some stores succeed while others don’t?
Here at Maze, we’ve studied that question for many years, and we always come to the same conclusion: What stands out in high performing stores is a positive culture where the employees feel empowered and engaged – which then leads to positive customer experiences.
Using data to improve customer experience
The problem is most stores use only their NPS to measure their customers’ levels of loyalty. That is not enough. Online stores aren’t the only ones who can use data to work on their customer experience – Physical stores can, and should, use more data to improve as well.
The retailers who have returning customers year after year are the ones who trains their employees using concrete and relevant data, which leads to higher engagement and higher sales performance. They make behaviour change an integral part of their culture, which makes it easier to keep improving even if the world around them is shaky.
The customer experience is the connection point between engaged employees and paying customers, and creating a culture of behaviour change and improvement is the key to stay successful. Let’s look at 5 ways you can improve your customer experience and take control of your store sales.
1. Create an open feedback culture
Without outside perspective, we will keep operating the way we’ve always have. If the staff never receives constructive feedback, they will have a hard time improving as salespeople. And without development, most employees will lose their work engagement.
Training the staff should become an essential part of your company culture. This will empower your employees and turn them into great salespeople, which in turn will allows for better customer experiences. If they don’t have enough product knowledge, if they forget to greet new customers or if they lack in other service skills, a manager needs to acknowledge this and give them the feedback they need to improve.
And don’t forget the positive feedback. When people perform well, they need some kudos from the management or other colleagues. Appreciation and encouragement go a long way when creating happy co-workers.
2. Be transparent with numbers
Trust is vital in building a successful business, and trust starts with transparency. Every employee wants to feel like their work has a purpose. Create this sense of purpose by connecting their sales performance with company goals and sales numbers – and make it a part of the company culture.
Show them how their individual store is doing, and how the company is performing compared to their yearly goal. Suddenly they will see why their hard work matters! This will keep them engaged and wanting to fight for better customer experiences and higher sales numbers.
Salespeople are competitive – Give them something to compete with. This is a smart way to trigger engagement, positive behaviour change and at the same time create a more fun work environment.
Use sales data, or create your own customer experience challenge, to celebrate the right type of behaviour and gamify the process to make it more engaging. Not only will this result in happier, empowered employees, it will also turn your company culture into something that high performers want to join.
4. Highlight personal development
As mentioned earlier, personal development is key in keeping your best employees, and making sure they keep improving their sales skills.
94% of workers say they would stay longer with a company if they invested in their career development. Not only that, but we’ve also seen a clear connection between development at work and engagement. If you feel like you can develop your skill at work, you will feel more engaged, and you will perform better.
Talk to your employees about how and what they want to learn, and make sure they get the tools to become the best salespeople possible. Keep giving them feedback and build a culture where personal development and behaviour change is the norm, and you’ll soon have a team full of happy, successful salespeople.
5. Have a clear routine on the floor
This goes hand in hand with providing feedback. If you notice that some of your stores are performing well and some are not, the problem might lie in the routine. Some people are naturally gifted with charisma and sales skills, and others need clear instructions.
Use your best salespeople and managers to break down what your staff need to prioritize to create positive customer experiences. Then use systems to make sure the routines are easy to follow, even when you aren’t there.
This should be a part of the culture, making sure every co-worker has what they need to improve their performance. This will also show that you have their best interest at heart, which creates trust and loyalty.
By now, hopefully you’ve realized the value in building a company culture where behaviour change, improvement and engagement is part of the norm. This is the key to high performing retailers. And this is the reason we created the Maze App.
Maze is essentially a training app for employees, to gamify their work and motivate them to reach their full sales potential. The perfect tool for managers who want to increase staff engagement and have returning customers.