The luxury of choice has become the norm for today’s consumers.
One rarely struggles when looking to source any particular product – and may even feel overwhelmed at times due to the sheer volume of items available to buy; knowing which product will be the most suitable or do the best job for the right price can be a complete minefield.
This abundance of options means consumers now demand more in the way of guidance, expertise and hands on experiences delivered by retailers in order to make purchasing decisions, particularly when selecting higher end products.
Despite the monumental upsurge in e-commerce, consumers still seek out and require human connection with knowledgeable individuals who they can converse with and trust to provide something unique, informative and authentic.
Brands and retailers delivering this level of customer service, focussing on people rather than product, will succeed and flourish, while those who continue to fixate only on the goods they sell using outdated retail strategies, will undoubtedly flounder.
In order for brands to secure future success, the solution is simple – they must invest in their people.
The true value of staff
To the untrained eye, it may seem the modern shopping experience in the 21st century is all about the convenience and ease of the internet; in truth, it remains human nature to have the desire to connect one to one with others in all aspects of life – and this certainly remains the case in retail.
In a survey carried out by Engage Employee, it was revealed 49 per cent of shoppers value shop staff more since the pandemic.
To that end, focussing on and investing in the staff, both developmentally and remuneratively speaking, who will interact with customers should be a brand’s first priority.
A team of charismatic, carefully trained people who are committed to and passionate about the brand they represent and the products they sell is the key to ensuring customers not only feel at ease while shopping, but also take something positive from the experience – ideally something they would want to share with others.
Exceptional staff bring huge value to a brand and can achieve fantastic results, whether connecting with shoppers digitally or in person.
At a time when technology plays a far greater role in our day to day lives, consumers are more frequently demanding a seamless omnichannel experience, so individuals staffing all points of sale from the shop floor to video calls and any other interactive content, must be fully versed and capable of delivering the level of service expected of the brand in question.
By selecting, recruiting and training the right staff, brands can enhance customer shopping experiences however they are executed, helping to grow love for the brand and encouraging long lasting relationships.
Pay premium prices, get premium people
The old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ may seem clichéd, but only because it is true.
Financially investing when recruiting staff is of paramount importance to ensure a higher quality of applicants and ultimately the best pool of talent to select from to represent your brand as per requirement.
By offering a competitive rate of pay, not only will employers attract experienced individuals most suited to the roles they wish to fill, there is a greater likelihood brands will retain their highest performing employees as they feel valued, boosting morale and loyalty.
Couple that with a rigorously targeted and engaging training programme that not only prepares staff for the job in hand, but allows them to continuously develop and progress, and businesses are guaranteed to reap the benefits.
Highly trained, engaged staff who feel appreciated and well rewarded will deliver outstanding customer service, eager to promote a positive experience of the brand while forging lasting connections and ultimately driving sales.
In a study carried out by research consultancy Quinine, it was found that customers are more than two and a half times more likely to recommend a brand having interacted with a highly engaged employee.
Creating the next generation of brand ambassadors
At Stellar, we are passionate about meaningful human connection and believe in its power to drive brand success.
We invest significant time and money in identifying, training and nurturing exceptional people to represent our clients as we know this is a fail-safe method of meeting and exceeding targets.
By taking good care of our teams, we can be assured they will perform to the best of their ability, show loyalty and remain committed, allowing more time for meaningful, longer lasting working relationships to develop.
Our pathway to success begins with immersive training programmes that focus on hands-on product experiences, scenario training, expert speakers, fun and engaging team activities and competitions.
Throughout these programmes, we pay special attention to developing product experts – individuals who are not only overflowing with knowledge, but are competent demonstrators and effective communicators with the natural ability to assist customers with important purchasing decisions.
Stellar is a Living Wage payer (or above) as we are dedicated to fair pay as well as understanding the need to offer attractive salaries as a means of drawing in the best talent.
Offering competitive rates of pay is only part of the story though, as we work hard to instill a sense of support and community across our teams, focussing on wellbeing to ensure staff feel looked after, thereby sustaining higher retention rates.
Reduced staff turnover is not only an effective means of cost-saving, but works also as a morale stabiliser as staff feel more settled and confident in us as employers.
By pouring energy into the development, wellness and contentment of our staff, they are guaranteed to feel better equipped, more engaged and perform to the highest standard when dealing with customers.
The facts speak for themselves and, as an agency, Stellar has proven time and again how valuing people over product is a vital strategy for brands and retailers to thrive.
As masters in this field, we have the knowledge, experience and skills required to select and coach individuals to become best-in-class product experts ensuring great success for our clients every time.