Retailers worldwide need to think harder about the experiences that customers have in their stores

Employees play a critical role in this equation, becoming the literal “face” of the company when interacting with customers. And since the vast majority of retail sales still take place in stores, investing to improve this pivotal customer interaction makes compelling bottom-line sense.

This wonderful quote comes from an Accenture paper titled Growth through Customer Facing Talent.article-2739190-20F3BBAC00000578-621_634x576

The report states that boosting a retailer’s customer facing sales performance—how employees interact with and treat shoppers in person, online or via call centres, can produce compelling benefits: a 1% increase in sales has more impact on the bottom line than a 1% change in any other income statement line item.

And in an ageing world where older shoppers have grown up with the enjoyment of in-store shopping, it is important that sales people know how to relate to them.

The best way, of course, is by hiring older sales people, as some retailers are now doing.

We conducted an AF Audit on Apple stores in Singapore and London. One main feature set them apart. The London stores had mature (40+) sales people on hand whereas in the Singapore store, none were over 30. Makes such a difference.

As covered in our book, Marketing to the ageing consumer, it’s not just about traditional retailers, it applies to all service entities. Think about bank customer relations officers. A 20-something MBA trying to push product onto a 50-something? Not likely.