Customer Kindness -Ten Ways to Increase Retail Sales: An Innovator’s Approach

Here are some ideas for an ethical and creative approach to increasing sales!

1. Leave customers alone unless they truly require help. A significant number of people hate shopkeepers who either kill with kindness or simply lurk in the corner, watching them like a hawk (or even a vulture).

2. Remove the front door if possible. Where this is not possible, ensure you have doors which are easy to open. Many people avoid shops which are a struggle to enter. During the Winter, this is important. The price of a warm shop may be lost customers, so put some entrance heating in and get those doors swinging!

3. Be child- and disabled person-friendly. Not only do families and disabled people represent a high amount of spending power, people in general like to shop in places which are designed with all customers in mind. And put a cycle rack and dog hook outside! Perhaps even a place to hang the canary!

4. If you leaflet to advertise your business, product or service, pay as much attention to the leafletters as to the leaflets themselves. I have heard time and time again from business people that many of their new customers who mention the leaflet which stimulated them to come to the shop or buy the product, also remember the positive and friendly attitude of the leafletter. This is in stark contrast to the many unmotivated, underpaid leafletters who apathetically thrust
leaflets in no particular direction. The main features appear to be leafletters who are genuinely sincere, positive and honest.

5. Hold regular team meetings of all staff where the boss is simply a team member as well. Brainstorm ideas and share experiences about good  

and bad customer service, products which are selling well, and ideas for improving sales and service.

6. Explode the myth that customers are so stupid that they think that £1.99 is closer to £1 than £2. Do not patronise customers and then they will surely patronise you! If it’s £2, then charge £2.

7. Where possible have all the merchandise or information available for
customers. In a Travel Agency, it should not be hidden behind desks like a valuable museum exhibit. Everything should be clearly priced and labelled. How helpful and clear are your product labels – really? Go and take a look.

8. If you must discount then make the discount really count. Anything below 20% will probably have a minimal impact. Sales have greatest effect when their impact is dramatic. Try walking up a hill with a 5% gradient – it is quite manageable for most people. Try one with a 40% gradient – now there is a dramatic climb – one to notice!

9. Make paying by cheque, credit or debit card as easy as possible. It should be
quickly (and carefully) done. People do not like to feel like second class citizens if they pay by plastic. I have seen countless poorly hand written signs saying: “No cheques under £10” – or “Credit cards not accepted unless you spend £10 or over”.

10. Pursue vigorously the policy that a customer spending £200 should be treated the same as a customer spending £1. The £1 customer has friends and family and may be a recommender or a potential £200 customer in the future. Even a customer spending nothing on one visit may return on many other occasions. Many hotels and shops fail miserably at this.

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