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Retailers can convert good service into great sales

The UK’s independent retailers are failing to understand the importance and link between service and sales according to new data released by a retail training organisation.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Retailers can convert good service into great sales

The UK’s independent retailers are failing to understand the importance and link between service and sales according to new data released by a retail training organisation.

Skillsmart Retail's mystery shopping study of over 800 independent retailers from across the UK found retail staff were pleasant (99%), had good product knowledge (97%) and maintained eye contact when dealing with customers (95%). Despite this, their ability to up-sell was low, with only 29% making an attempt to ask if there was anything else the customer needed.

When the retailers who took part in the mystery shopping exercises were asked what areas of their business they felt needed most improving, the skill highlighted by nearly a quarter of the retailers (24%) was sales. However, only 3% identified customer handling as an issue.

The training body said the research shows that retailers should not view sales and service separately, but realise they are inextricably linked and use their service skills to take advantage of up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.

Jane Rexworthy, head of the National Skills Academy for Retail, said: "Up-selling is an important part of customer service and retailers must engage with it to really make the most of providing good service and see it pay dividends long-term. 

"From the business point of view sign-posting customers to appropriate products, services and offers they may not realise are available can be beneficial to the customer and a business’ bottom line. Therefore businesses must make sure through training that staff have the product knowledge and outstanding customer handling skills."

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