In my last article, I talked about my experience at a Speed Awareness course. I learned a very valuable lesson from the participants trying to recall a road sign that they have probably seen thousands of times in their lifetime. I have also received many emails from people who have also tried the same test…. And failed!

I summarized by saying that you CAN amplify the effectiveness of your signage, brand and promotions. Here is how….

My Airport Experience

I flew through a European airport recently. It was an early morning flight and it was clear that there were a lot of business people travelling. Bleary eyed, I walked through the airport and to my amazement, there was almost ZERO interaction. Some of the key contact points included:

Check In
No interaction until I asked a question. That was the total contact we had.

Security
The security staff were talking to each other and did not interact with me. They did not mention my belt (they were too distracted) so I had to go back through again.

Café
The manager had to tell someone to serve me. Very limited interaction.

Duty Free Store
Zero interaction. No approach. No eye contact. I sat outside the duty free store for a while and this was the same for a number of customers who were browsing. One shopper was persistent and asked for help.

CTN
No interaction. I was the only shopper in the store and I was pointed (and when I say pointed, I mean pointed, no verbal interaction at all) to the self service checkout

Boarding
Finally, someone spoke to me. ‘Morning’.

How do you think I felt about sat in the plane? Do you think that the average traveller would find it memorable? Maybe for the wrong reasons!

Make a shopper’s experience memorable is easier than you think…

Over the last decade I have seen what I believe to be a concerning trend within TR. In the rush to squeeze every last bit of margin out of the business, the focus has become to decrease costs. One of the biggest costs that a company has is staff. Some retailers have progressively reduced their headcount to maximize profitability.

This leads to a problem with manpower planning. Targeting headcount on a percentage of sales is a dangerous move. Yes, it squeezes your biggest cost but it also squeezes your biggest asset too. There is an alternative approach which I will cover at a later date. If you find you cannot wait… feel free to get in touch.

Do passengers want to be buying premium products in what is essentially a luxury supermarket? Will shoppers want to pick up premium products off the shelf like a tin of beans? Or do shoppers want advice, guidance and warmth when being asked to part with £500 bottle of Whisky?

If you want to sell up, add on and be memorable – it is your front line that will make the difference.

Until next time….

Kevin