Retail sales managers should be proactive about their customer satisfaction challenges. Here are some tips to get you started.
By Steve Honig
Many retail sales managers don't discuss or comment on many of the issues that plague them on a daily basis, but give them a structured forum and the spigot will flow. It wasn't until I was asked to discuss some of these issues at a recent sales manager meeting with Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA) members that this subject opened up.
As a sales manager, how much time do you spend putting out fires, arranging loaner product, convincing an extended warranty company to approve a repair or replacement, or calling the local repair center to place your client's appointment ahead of others for service? If more than 20 percent of your day is spent on customer satisfaction issues, you should implement some action plans to reduce that percentage. With systems in place that allow you to spend less time on customer satisfaction issues and more time with your sales staff, you'll enhance your environment and improve time management skills.
Some common crisis management issues tie up sales managers. Here are a few, along with some suggestions for change.
Put out fires before they start. As the sales manager, you're the one who receives what I call "heat calls." To better organize these calls and not forget the details of each call, build a three-ring notebook that alphabetically separates each client. Develop and use a one-page information form that includes everything from the client's name, address and phone number to what his or her issue is. Include a place to date each conversation and the results. Each time they call, it will be much easier to recall and discuss their specific issues because their history is right in front of you.