Retailers: What do you ask your sales staff to do during slack times when there are no customers in the store? Let me guess: restock inventory, clean the store, create new displays, and straighten merchandise, among others, right?
All of these are important, but as you can see, the focus is on the merchandise, not on customers. How about this:
Using anything from an Excel spreadsheet to CRM software, how about creating a database that includes data on your best customers?
Hand-writing thank you notes to customers who have just purchased from you. (Nordstroms does it; you can too.)
Having senior sales staff pose certain customer scenarios to newer staff in the form of role plays
Using a telephone, email, or face-to-vace conversations, solicit feedback from your best customers
Solicit feedback from customers you haven’t seen in six months
Solicit feedback from first time customers.
Going back through your sales receipts of your best customers, identify those products that they seem to like. Confirm this in a conversation with them and then use downtown to surf the ‘net or to check with your vendors to see if you can meet or exceed their needs.
There’s probably a lot more you can do. But my point is, don’t just use slack time to focus on your inventory, store and other “things.” Use it also to focus on your customers. Create a list of Top 10 Things You Can Do When There Are No Customers. Prioritize it. Perhaps you can make it a checklist and reward staff who accomplish those tasks.