Importance of Communications in Retail


It is widely recognized that good communication skills are important in any business; in any endeavour, really.

But, it is particularly important for a retail manager to be an effective communicator because they have to communicate with people at all different levels of the organization on a regular basis and many of those people have a direct impact on the customer and on store employees.

Often, there won’t be an opportunity for a second chance at getting it right, just due to the nature of retail. When employees are in various different locations, more complications are introduced.

Communication breakdowns – particularly retail H.O. to field communication – can have immediate, negative implications for the business.

In other industries there are more opportunities for colleagues to meet and to take more time to ask questions, mull things over and clarify misunderstandings before any impact at the customer level.

In retail, things are not so straight forward and miscommunication can quickly create chaos.

Often instructions, directions and planned actions take place on the fly, making it difficult to correct or clarify after the fact.

Retail managers move around a lot!

Think about why the person handling a life or death emergency gives directives like this…
“Go and do X (whatever it is that needs to be done) and come right back to me.”

Retail managers need to hone their skills in many areas if their goal is excellence in execution at store level and, of course, it should be. Communication is at, or near the top of the list of skills to be fully developed for success.

When communicating with employees, in particular, there must be an exchange of information, not just a download. People need to be given the opportunity to ask questions for clarification and to share their own ideas, if warranted.

Yet another reason retail managers need to be highly effective communicators is to be able to get the very best out of their people.

Subordinates who actively participate in the exchange of information – meaning they are not just told to do this or do that – are far more likely to achieve objectives; far more likely to be motivated to bring energy to their work.

That means the retail manager has to know how to ensure an exchange of information occurs and that involves sensing, or picking up, the communication style of those involved.

This is particularly important when discussing standards and expectations.

One of the biggest reasons why employees often do not meet performance standards and expectations is simply because they were not made clear enough to them.

Here’s an example where a managers’ communication skills may be called into question: an employee takes a directive – let’s say a directive to perform a certain task – and then proceeds with the task with nothing else in mind.

As far as they’re concerned the task they have been given by their superior is the most important thing they have to do.

Now, if the managers expectations were clear all along, that employee would understand that the task must be done ONLY if there were no customers to look after.

But let’s say customers come into the store while the employee is totally engrossed in his task and the customers are ignored – which, in reality, happens all the time.

In this example, the manager did not make expectations clear – the task to be performed was clear but this employee did not understand that the task was to be done only after customers were taken care of.

The employee did not have the ‘customer first’ understanding which should have been instilled early on in his or her employment.

Advertisements

0 Responses to “Importance of Communications in Retail”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s




Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

RetailWise - Subscribe

Retail Management

Ultimate Retail Success Collection

Archives

Sales & Influence Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: