Thirst for information and top level service remains as strong as ever
They have become more self-assured and technology savvy and some are much more demanding, more impatient, less polite and less willing to compromise.
How do we get it right?
- Training and up-skilling staff. Have a policy of continuous improvement in customer service, basic selling techniques and product knowledge so they can answer with confidence the most frequently asked questions.
- Staff information can be disseminated in many ways. At staff meetings; start of the day sessions; team emails; in employee handbooks of policies and procedures or as hand-outs or files to pop into personal folders containing handy reference material.
Information can be disseminated in many ways to customers too:
- Monthly “what to do in the garden” accessible online or as hand-outs.
- “How to” brochures for a range of the most common topics, especially edible crops, seed sowing, feeding, pruning, safe pest and disease management.
- A strong integrated in-house signage system including directional or category signs to tell customers where to find things; end use signs to help customers choose the right plant for the place they have in mind; product benefit signs and product information signs; customer service signs and store policy signs where they apply.
- Websites can catalogue all manner of information for gardening including product information; updates about latest generation chemicals for garden use; outdoor living trends; garden planners; a calendar of events.
- Social media is wonderful to instantly promote new product in store
- In-store blackboards for highlighting ‘specials’ and information
- Email newsletters for your garden club or loyalty programme members to tell them about product news, new products, garden tips; instore events, demonstrations, seminars, courses and excursions
- Simple seasonal outdoor living flyers or ‘magazines’ are ideal as bag stuffers