Los Angeles, CA—The countdown is on! Christmas is just five days away; Hanukkah, two days. But retailers that keep up the same effort for one more week stand to benefit greatly after the holiday, says Bob Phibbs (left), the “Retail Doctor.”
In a recent article on his website, retaildoc.com, Phibbs acknowledges the week after Christmas is frosting on the cake, not the cake itself—but who doesn’t love a big forkful of frosting? Here is a summary of his tips for making the most of return traffic and generating incremental sales:
1) Greet twice. Even if customers were greeted when they came in, greet them again at the return counter and point out your sale merchandise. Invite them to look around first as a return can make their gift go further or encourage them to get a second item.
2) Re-tag and return to the case immediately! One person’s return is another’s treasure. Don’t toss the returned piece in a bin you’ll get to later; price it and get it back out on display right away!
3) No part-timers on returns. Make sure everyone knows how to do all types of returns, sale items, closeouts, layaways, checks, etc. Nobody wants to wait for a manager.
4) Bend your policies!Battling over a return isn’t worth the aggravation. The goal is to build sales, not antagonize customers (who also might take to social media to complain). Give the refund and be a hero.
5) Greet at the door. Greet everyone coming in and direct them to your sale merchandise. The goal is to get customers to look around beforethey get to the return counter. Even if they tell you that's all they want, say, "We can certainly do that for you as well, we just don't want you to have to stand in line twice."
6) Make sure you get their information, especially if they’re new customers coming in to peruse your after-holiday sale. Explain how they can sign up for exclusive sales all year long.
Bob Phibbs is a business strategist, customer service expert, sales coach, marketing mentor, author of three books, and motivational business speaker. He launched The Retail Doctor in 1994 to help brick-and-mortar retailers compete with online merchants. He lists Hearts On Fire, Omega, American Express, and thousands more among his clients.