Highly successful retailers invest in store employees  – Zeynep Ton 8

The only competitive advantage that you have to set yourself apart from your competitors – is the level of customer service you provide. It’s not price – or selection – it’s the quality of your sales team and their ability to develop relationships with your target market. Trust me – I spent 40+ years as a general manager for a major retailer and an owner / operator of my own small business. And based on my experiences – companies that train their people on how to provide exceptional customer service – outpace those companies that don’t in every category that counts – including the bottom line. I hope you enjoy the article written by Zeynep Ton. Let me know what you think.

Highly successful retailers invest in store employees  – Business |theeastafrican.co.ke.


  1. True, Retail being the people intensive business and having highest level of customer interaction warrants for high level of investment in store employees. High level of Employee commitment directly impacts their customer service level which ultimately leads to customer retention / loyalty

  2. Unfortunately most business look at employee training as an expense and not an asset. Those companies that do provide training are the ones that excel. There is a direct connection between training and profits. Thank you for your comments. Appreciate you reading my blog posting. – Cheers,

  3. I agree that training is under-emphasized in most retail operations however I think you over simplify the situation. Hiring is the process before training and has a profound effect on the ability to train and the success of training. Motivation and management are also critical to teamwork and success. Far too many people do know what to do but don’t do it. Training, unfortunately won’t help that.
    Product is also critical in retail and the selection that is offered can define the store and shopping experience. Great employees with the wrong merchandise are doomed to fail.
    Merchandise planning and the ability to manage inventory effectively can also be a critical competitive advantage. If store A forecasts sales badly, over buys and then has shortages in key classifications their customers go elsewhere.
    I agree that training and an excellent staff is a critical competitive advantage. Successful retailers find competitive advantages in many places and many ways. That is why they are successful.
    Evan Wise

  4. Retailing is a people business. The focus is often just on having the lowest prices to improve the business, but people regularly return to those stores that provide great customer service. I know through my own experience in retailing over many years and also the work we have done with retailers now for decades.

    Not only do those people-focused retailers get repeat business, but also referral business, because people talk. They tell stories of their amazing shopping experiences, contrasting them with the bad ones!

    Time spent training staff on how to provide outstanding service and having sound product knowledge is absolutely essential to achieving success.

  5. Hi Brian

    We offer Customer Service Training for businesses throughout Northern Ireland which is funded by the government. The trouble is some businesses dont feel they need this when clearly they do.

  6. Thank you for your comments Paula. No question – sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know until you know that you don’t know it. And by the time that you know it – it may be too late. Poor customer service is self-fulfilling – eventually customers will stop coming.

  7. Paula it’s amazing how many retailers don’t understand that the level of customer service they provide is their only competitive advantage. It’s not the product (everyone has a comparative product) it’s not price (someone is always willing to sell it for less) – it’s service.

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