FN Platform: NSRA Talks Customer Service, Employee Recognition

FN Platform kicked off for the second time this year in Las Vegas with a series of seminars from the National Shoe Retailers Association focusing on new strategies for success. Top themes included tips and tools on how to increase customer satisfaction, hiring strategies for retailers, and how to build a strong frontline of employees.

During the “How to Build a Frontline That Will Build Your Bottom Line” session, speaker Mel Kleiman discussed techniques retailers need to use in order to build a successful staff that boosts profitability, increases customer satisfaction, and makes going to work more enjoyable.

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NSRA seminar at FN Platform.
CREDIT: Courtesy.

Kleiman specifically used online retailer Zappos as example, saying, “It doesn’t matter how good you’re recruiting, it matters that you identify who is literally going to be a great worker. Zappos is the best selection company in the country today. They don’t want people who go to work for the money, they want people who go to work for Zappos.”

Zappos has built a certain culture and selection process that supports people that want to work there, he explaind. “It’s about keeping the people you want to have.”

Kleiman also suggested retailers make a list of reasons why people work a their companies to begin with and why they stay. “If you want to hire a great employee you need to have a reason for that great employee to come to work for you,” he said.

One of the major points Kleiman mentioned during his session was a retailer’s No.1 retention tool, which is also the No. 1 motivator for employees — positive recognition.

Author Robert Spector echoed this sentiment during the second session of the day, “The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence.”

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Robert Spector.
CREDIT: Courtesy.

According to Spector, Nordstrom has quarterly and regional recognition meetings honoring one employee who  implemented great customer service. “You just want to burst through those doors and sell somebody a pair of pumps,” he said on the effects recognition has on employees. “Recognition is so important and it doesn’t cost you a dime.”

When it comes to customer service, Spector broke down the “Nordstrom way” and how to become the “Nordstrom” of independent retailers.

Key takeaways included that every transaction is an emotional connection with a customer. He also said Nordstrom’s excellent customer service is more than a smile and its return policy. “It’s complete unwavering, uncompromising commitment to create a personalized customer experience every time.”

Theresa Zeidler-Shonat, from the Business Valuation Practice at Smith & Gesteland, LLP, rounded out the last seminar of the day discussing the concept of business valuation and the benefits it may have for retailers.

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