What sort of customers do you see in your store day to day? Do you find most of the people in your shop are young college students, or are you catering to an older crowd? If you want to stay afloat, you'll need to tailor your customer service techniques to suit all of the age groups that visit your store. Here are some tips to help you guide your staff to be the best they can be, no matter whom they're dealing with:
The little ones
If you are a toy store or children's clothing store, you will likely have young kids under age 15 in your store frequently. Though it may be their parents who ultimately pull out their wallets at the cash register, you will turn away Moms and Dads if your staff doesn't know how to treat kids well. Youngsters like a hands-on experience, so you should be prepared to have little hands grabbing at the items on your clothing racks and display tables. Don't scold the kids for being curious – instead, make sure there are sample products that can stand a little wear and tear. When employing people to work your store floor, you'll want to find individuals who are bubbly, outgoing, kind-hearted and naturally good with children. Kids don't like to be talked down to – though they may be younger, they are still often smart and confident consumers. That being said, they will likely have boundless energy, so you must train your staff to be able to withstand long days, particularly during the holiday season.
Teens are arguably the hardest demographic to deal with. Adolescence is an awkward time when young people are trying to build a sense of independence. A smart store owner will realize this and use their products to help teens with this endeavor. You will likely have young people visiting your store on their own without parents – this may mean that they haven't mastered appropriate behavior in a store when unsupervised. Your employees should be able to be friendly and honest with the customer base, allowing them to explore the products on your wall displays and display tables without making them feel like they're little kids. However, they must also be prepared to nip any negative behavior in the bud, for the sake of your store.
Today's young adults are intelligent shoppers. They've grown up with the Internet and expect prompt and friendly service as well as low prices on quality products. They won't hesitate to pull out their smartphone and compare prices online, so you'll need to be constantly running promotions on your best products. Bear in mind that the Millennial generation can form strong bonds with the brands they love, but they will also immediately break any relationship with your store if you offend them in any way. This means you'll need to maintain a strong online presence through social media and use that platform to respond quickly to any customer complaints.
People in their 40s or 50s have now lived through the economic boom of the 80s and the most recent recession. This means they expect both quality and competitive prices when shopping. They are also a creative and intellectual bunch, and like to be treated as such. If you're catering to this age group, feel free to have some fun with them. Allow your employees to be conversational and friendly, and don't be afraid to set up a window display that is more abstract than traditional.