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Growth through customer facing talent in retail

How retailers interact with customers plays a key role in their success. Learn why scaling up great customer-facing capabilities matters.

Overview

Most retailers today seek reliable expansion strategies, but only a few will find ways to spur the growth they need. Facing little to no revenue uplift, increasing global competition and agile digital attackers, retailers need different tactics to improve sales and profits.

One proven, but underutilized approach, focuses on boosting a retailer’s customer-facing sales performance—how your employees interact with and treat shoppers in person, online or via call centers. Experience suggests that this approach can produce compelling benefits.

DOWNLOAD GROWTH THROUGH CUSTOMER FACING TALENT IN RETAIL [PDF, 229 KB]

Background

Recently, an investment analyst report on retailing characterized the industry as an "overstored but under-serviced" world. Few would argue with the first part of that assessment. However, the notion of it being under-serviced goes against the many sizable investments in people and technology that leading retailers have recently made.

Over the past year or so, the heads of a number of leading retailers shared their investment plans for their front-line operations. The intention was to become a customer-driven organization; invest in their people; and position their company as leaders in innovation and technology.

Since the vast majority of retail sales still take place in stores, investing to improve this pivotal customer interaction makes compelling bottom-line sense.

Recommendations

While research and personal experience offer compelling evidence that having top customer-facing talent can significantly drive sales, “bottling” that capability and distributing it company-wide remains a major challenge.

Now, however, retailers can employ advanced technologies and training techniques to improve scalability. Done right, scaling up best-practice customer handling capabilities can generate high sales and margins, providing the seed money to fund more investments and offer higher wages.


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Author
Chris Donnelly

Chris Donnelly
Senior Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, Retail

Chris works with leading global retailers to address the critical issues facing their businesses. A frequent speaker at retail industry conferences and contributor to major news programs, he has deep skills in the planning, design, and implementation of transformation projects with a particular focus on merchandising, benefits realization and shareholder value creation. Chris is based in London and Chicago.

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