Feature: Christmas Snippets To Share With Your Team

Feature: Christmas Snippets To Share With Your Team

Retail Consultant, Jurek Leon, author of ‘52 Terrific Retail Tips’ has some handy hints on how to survive the upcoming Christmas Trading season…

Focus Your Team
Christmas can be an extremely stressful time for staff. They are a manager’s customers, so you have to invent ways to care for them and live up to their expectations at Christmas. Be clear about what you require of them under pressure. And they have to be prepared as if they were going into a sporting event. Start each day with results achieved to date. Celebrate small successes and emphasise the positive.

Turn Your Team Into Successful Shoppers
Who do your staff have to buy for? Get them to share their lists. Get this done well before the Christmas rush. Help one another out with ideas. Have fun. Put up a chart where people have to mark off as they buy their gifts. Make it public. Let your customers know what is going on. They will be curious and while encouraging your staff to get their Christmas shopping underway, may just do the same themselves.

Give an Elf a Job
We need more elves at Christmas; people who can be paid to blow up helium balloons and handle the myriad other nuisance jobs that need to be done. Your experienced staff are best kept fresh for the important jobs of selling and service.

Prepare the Team
Get your team to develop Christmas quizzes about products, things to do, how to stand out and fun Christmas things. Take turns every few days to co-ordinate the quiz. Train your staff not to lose their cool with customers when they get busy. Remember for some of them, it is the first time. They need to know how to cope with the rush and with people who are stressed and under pressure. Talk this through as a group. Discuss, don’t tell. Ensure everyone is trained in the techniques for handling complaints and difficult customers.

Make It Easy
Make access easy: Getting in, walking down aisles, past angled promotional displays. How hard is it when the store is crowded? Get a twin push chair and send a couple of staff members through a shopping centre on a busy day. Get them to weave through a pharmacy, some gift shops, and boutiques and then ask them to report back to your team. That will raise everyone’s awareness.

Fill each day with Magic Moments
Don’t process your customers. Treat each customer as an individual. Make them feel special. Really be there for them. Focus on them and their needs. Let them know by your actions that right at that moment in time, there is nowhere else you would rather be. Our objective should be to have every customer going away feeling and thinking: “I’m glad I talked with you. You really listened even though you were very busy. This Christmas, I feel better about myself as a result of talking to you.”