The sales clerk asks Can I help you? You answer No thanks, I’m just looking. You wander ar=round the shop and the sales clerk goes back to what they were doing.
It’s a fail in retail.
If you don’t ask a shopper if you can help them, they don’t have an opportunity to say I’m just looking thanks.
Consider changing your opening with shoppers, ditch the old script of opening by asking how can I help?
Consider a welcome greeting of it’s great to see you today or thanks for stopping by or even simply hi. You could try more active engagement like we just got this in, or have you seen this, it’s really cool while showing a product.
Too often in retail team members are trained in scripts to use and requested to follow them by rote. Scripts dehumanise human interaction, they can make what is meant to feel like conversation shallow, useless, noise.
We think it is critical retail team members are encouraged to ditch scripts and be in the moment when engaging with shoppers. It is important all team members feel trust from the business in their ability to engage.
Oh, and who are we? We’re Tower Systems, makers of POS software used by thousands of local small business retailers, and we are retailers ourselves – have been since the 1990s. We’re not your usual POS software company.
One way to make opening conversation with shoppers on the shop floor easier is doing more work on the shop floor, moving tasks there that may otherwise be done in a back office or at the sales counter.
You can nurture conversation skills in the shop by engaging with the team in active conversation.
Now, if a customer does say they are just looking, a simple no worries is a good response. Certainly, don’t follow them around or try more questions. Leave them be.
Years ago, retail staff were told to engage with shoppers, pressured even. It was as if staff engagement was the key to sales success. While, for sure, it can play a role in some settings, there are many other factors that drive sales: the right products, a well laid out shop, a happy shopping environment, compelling offers and happy team members to name a few.
Shoppers who are looking are wonderful to have, much better than no shoppers at all.