Recent media coverage in Jersey has raised the profile of persistent concerns from retailers, and consumers, about challenges relating to the retail sector in Jersey. The government has put a Scrutiny Panel together which is now particularly interested in establishing clarity about what the challenges facing retailers are. The idea is for the panel to also examine the current policies that the Minister has or plans to implement in response to them.

I feel now is really the time to stop talking about the issues and start acting; retailers and the hospitality industry need help from the government now, not in 10 years time, there will be no businesses left by then!

But the retailers also need to help themselves; they cannot stay complaisant and just wait for the customers to walk through their doors, those days are well and truly over. Businesses need to assess their offerings, understand where they are now, agree with where they want to be and create SMART actions on how they are going to get there; this is the only way they will make a real difference.

I thought I could give you pointers on where to start:

  1. Identify all of your customers’ touchpoints to develop an unforgettable experience
  2. Create some standards which will set your benchmark
  3. Train your staff, give them the tools to provide excellent service
  4. Measure your employees’ performances with some Mystery Shopping
  5. Identify your gaps and act on them
  6. Get some support, outsourcing specialists is a great way to let you focus on what you do best and let others do the rest
  7. It is also important to carry on the process of listening to the Voice of your Customers on a regular basis, this could be done easily online or exit surveys or a simple feedback form

The Customer Service you give IS the only way you will differentiate yourself from your local and online competition. If you look after your customers before, during and after, you can be sure to have the winning recipe for success, growing your profitability and ultimately growing the local economy.

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