How to maximise your Turnover in the Golden Quarter

The Christmas period represents a significant time for many business owners, particularly those in Retail and Hospitality. It is a time when customers are out there, looking to spend money in what is commonly known as Golden Quarter. Do you have a plan, a strategy in place that is going to help you win as many customers as possible? How will you stand out from your competitors and get the footfall and demand for your products and services. Is your business ready for the Golden Quarter 2017?

Here are 5 important elements of any successful strategy that you should implement in this period. Remember, people are out there to buy, so help them spend their cash in your Restaurant or Store.

  1. Stock

Having products in stock to take away, or that can be delivered in the next few days is an expectation of the modern day customer. Having a well stocked store (and kitchen) makes it easy for people in your store (or restaurant) to buy from you, so don’t make it difficult for them to make purchases.

  • Have your shelves and stores stocked up with the right products, making sure your best sellers are available for customers to buy. This is about making it easy for your customers to buy from you.
  • Make sure you enough of the key items on your Menu available
  • Have arrangements in place with your suppliers so you can get more if needed
  • Use fulfilment partners, where possible, like Amazon, who can not only sell for you, but also stock and deliver your products for you as well

 

  1. Staff

People buy from people. Your people will be representing you in front of your customers. Social Selling is not just online, it happens in store as well. There is an interaction between a customer – sales assistant or a waitress – diner, that makes them feel comfortable enough to trust you to buy from you. Importantly having staff in place that can carry out your strategy is going to be the difference between you being successful or not.

  • Firstly, do you have staff ready and available to work when you need them to work? In this period, you will need staff to work in the holiday period, maybe late nights or weekends.
  • It is often the detail and attention given at key moments in the transaction that can have the most impact. We are talking about how welcome a prospect is made to feel or how your customer service assistance responds to a customer’s query. This is the Moment of Truth, when everything you planned for actually comes true or not.
  • How do you measure and motivate them? You have to remember that they are also here for a reason, they do not have shares in your business, so what do they want? Don’t forget to acknowledge staff who are performing well or team achievements

 

  1. Standards

At times when you are expecting to be busy, it is important to ensure that you stick to processes and procedures. These are the times when your standards will be tested the most. Have a list of standards that you work to and measure yourselves against, which should not just be financial or performance based, but also operational based.

  • Make sure you keep to the published Opening and Closing times, your customers could have a lot of personal stuff to manage and they will be banking on you opening on time, or not closing early.
  • Don’t let your staff fall into sloppy habits, for example, when you are busy, some sales staff may tell customers “take all 4 of them home and return the 3 you don’t like later on” –  in times when you are trying to sell, your staff has just sent 3 stock items out of the shop, which you now cannot sell and will probably be returned to you after Boxing Day.
  • Keep regular meetings with the team, especially on your busier times, hold 5 minute “Stand up meetings” to talk about what is happening today, update the team on things they need to be aware of. Use these to make sure they remember the goals and objectives, and use it as a motivation opportunity to get the energy right.

 

 

  1. Service

We believe Customer Service is a key part of the future success of your business. If you don’t look after your Customers, do not expect them to keep buying from you and without Customers, you won’t stay in business very long. Your Customers will remember your Service, longer than they will remember your Prices.

  • Your staff should understand how to SEW, so when a new guest arrives in your place, Smile, make Eye contact and give a warm Welcome to everyone who comes into your place.
  • Make sure you monitor the check-out process, customer who have been in your store or eaten at your restaurant will hate waiting to pay their bill. The UK Customer Service Institute report published 1st Jan 2017, said that 42% of customers complained of the waiting time at the check-out. (Note: We did a report recently on how hand-held devices could be used for both customer service queries and also taking payments – watch the video HERE and look out for the HP and DELL demos specifically.)
  • Measure your staff on more than just sales, if you really want to give great Service, then capture Customer feedback on how good they found the Service.

 

  1. Sales

Sales is the ultimate goal for everyone at this time. In retail, we dread those words “We will come back” or “this is the first place I have come to” and often the skills of your team to convert those people in your store at that point in time (another Moment of Truth).

  • This time of the year, you see families being dragged around the shops and the parents get more frustrated as their kids get tired. Consider having distractions such as colouring books, balloons, snacks or drinks available for the kids (or husbands), this will be a great diversion for the bored or hungry people and help keep the buyers in store shopping for longer.
  • Have clear pricing on all products, make sure the customer knows the price before they go to the checkout, this is important not only for speed and efficiency, but it also maintains the customer experience, they are not going to feel embarrassed at any point.
  • Are you ready to do deals? This is something that people don’t always agree with, but even Gucci have promotional items with 60% off. Consider having some offers all the time in store and consider offering upgrades. Customers often return somewhere where they feel they are getting great value, for a good price.
  • Prepare in advance for your sales events, so let customers know what you will be doing on Black Friday for instance (Fri 24 Nov 2017). Customers may decide to buy now, or buy then, but at least you have given them the option. You could even consider flash sales … so if you a product line that is not selling so much, consider a big discount to clear it out. The promotion may attract customers who you are upsell and cross-sell. Importantly, you won’t have stock clogging up your store and warehouse, space that could be used for other things. (Note – watch our Black Friday video HERE which has had over 12,000 views to date).
  • If you have a customer list, consider setting up “Members only” events or times, where you can invite your existing customers a slot to exclusive deals and access to the store. Open up early or stay open later for maybe 30 mins and so give some value back to your regular customers in lieu of their loyalty.