By Shalu Bhatti, Written on 9/22/2011
If you are a part of the retail industry, even though not at a managerial level, you would know that in order to be a successful retail employee, one needs to imbibe a lot of personal qualities in a professional manner. I mean, not everyone can become a successful retail manager. It is only those who possess the quality and the right attitude to please the customers and take responsibilities, that are destined to become good retail managers. The saying that most of the employees hate their boss can stand true in this sector as well, unless one focuses on how to become a good retail manager instead of a bad one! The fact that your job involves not only inventory management, but also building effective customer rapport and effective people management, you should always be available for guidance, help and training. These points will be evaluated further as we proceed with this article.
What Makes a Good Retail Manager
“Customers don’t always know what they want. The decline in coffee-drinking was due to the fact that most of the coffee people bought was stale and they weren’t enjoying it. Once they tasted ours and experienced what we call “the third place”… a gathering place between home and work where they were treated with respect… they found we were filling a need they didn’t know they had“. ~ Howard Schultz
A retail manager is a person who is responsible for the smooth functioning of the retail store. A smooth functioning involves building an effective and strong rapport with the consumers, creating a goodwill for the store, managing the employees in terms of their training and product knowledge, taking care of their payrolls, hiring, firing, and so on. Though it may appear to you that these functions seem to be easy, it is not a cake walk! Mentioned below are some essential qualities and tips that can help you be a good retail store manager.
Good communication skills play a very important role in the retail sector. One should be efficient enough to communicate in a pleasant, polite, and professional manner, both with the employees as well as the customers. Remember that all people you deal with are not the same, which is why you should have the tactics and the judgment to be able to deal with them effectively no matter what the situation is. An example for the same would be, suppose a customer complaints to you about a sales boy who has not been helpful, instead of scolding him in front of the customer, apologize to the customer on his behalf and offer to give assistance. Ask the sales boy to follow you and see how the query of the customer should have been solved ideally.
Training and Delegating Authorities
There are many managers that do not understand the emphasis of constant training and development of the employees. It is very important to continuously train the employees in terms of product knowledge and customer interaction so that they can brush up on their existing skills. Assigning them responsibilities and duties in other areas like inventory management can also train them better and prepare them for promotions and growth. Therefore, stop taking everything in your hands and give your employees a chance to show you their potential.
It is also very important to maintain professionalism when it comes to handling a retail store and become a good manager. Remember that you have to set an example to others. To the customers you have to be the best guide they ever had, and to your employees, you need to be the perfect example of excellence in your profession. Being too strict and critical towards your employees can result in demoralization. On the other hand, acting unprofessionally with your customers may cost you a loyal client.
Keep Your Customers Always Happy
For any business to be successful, it is very important for them to keep their customers happy and satisfied. Being a patient listener and trying to understand their demands is one thing, and being a guide to fulfill their requirements is another. You must treat your customers like kings and queens, taking care of even the minutest detail like telling them about your promotional offers so that they can save out on some money, making sure that they are getting all the assistance and knowledge that they need while shopping from your store and so on. All this can be done only through making your employees efficient enough by following the above mentioned tips.
Be a Guide to Your Employees
It is not only customers that need guidance, even employees need it and a good retail manager is the one that can be a guide to the employees in terms of professional and personal growth. We must remember that at the end of the day, each and every employee has a personal motivation which may include appreciation, appraisals, promotions, or even a small pat on the back. So, make sure you give them all the guidance and motivation that they need in order to be able to excel in this career path.
Apart from the aforementioned tips and traits on becoming a good retail manager, the other necessities included in the retail store manager job description, is to be a constant motivator and being constantly updated about the latest trends and innovations in the retail market. It also involves helping the employees to be well updated with each and every aspect of the trade, so that there can be maximum number of customer satisfaction and excellent customer service. After all, your subordinates will follow you as an example, right? How to be a good retail manager will be possible only when you have the passion and the desire to put in your best in your job, and make sure that you do all that you can to make your employees do the same. Always remember, if you do your job with focus, concentration, and passion, there is nothing that can stop you from becoming the best.