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A Note to Retailers: 3 Tips to Make Black Friday Better for Your Employees and Customers

Fierce Ideas (orange lightbulb)

Black Friday is approaching us. For some, this day may create pure joy with visions of scoring the perfect holiday gift…for half the price. For others, the stress of angry, aggressive customers can overwhelm you.

As a retailer, it is critical for you to take care of both your employees and customers on this significant shopping day. With the increased appeal to sit on couches (or at desks) and shop online, it is up to you to make the effort of driving or walking to your store worthwhile. Yes, more than ever you need to earn patronage. And for employees, make them proud to work for you and truly show up. There are many companies they can choose to work for.

Here at Fierce, we work with many global retailers who intertwine the fierce principles and ideas to customer service and their store environment. Here are three tips to make Black Friday merrier for us all:

    1. Inspire your employees to be their authentic selves.

Don’t mandate that your employees put on their “customer face” on Black Friday. It is artificial and people see right through it. Ask your employees to show up as themselves and truly connect. Talk about the products that they love. Your employees will appreciate it, and you will reap the benefits of more loyal customers.

    1. Empower your employees to take personal responsibility for the day.

Troubleshoot scenarios as a team. This means preparing to go “off script” and responding to the real needs of the customer. At the end of the day, managers can’t be everywhere at all times, especially on days like Black Friday. Encourage your managers to delegate to high performing employees who can make critical decisions when time is of the essence. In the end, delegation is not just about giving tasks – it is about allowing employees to serve the customers.

When employees know they are supported by management and the organization, they are more likely to go above and beyond for your customers. They also are more likely to take responsibility for mistakes made by the organization. (Extra bonus for you!)

    1. Stop generalizing your customers.

In the age of big data, it really is unacceptable. And your customers are on top of it. Market research suggests that more than ever customers want their needs and desires understood. However, as Susan states in Fierce Leadership, “Many organizations view exchanges with their customers or stakeholders as merely transactional, to be completed as quickly as possible.” On Black Friday are you creating a transaction or an experience?

It is your job to give your customers and employees the opportunity to truly engage with your brand. Think this through. If your loyalty program only consists of customers getting the credit card with your company’s logo on it, you aren’t offering more than a series of transactions. Customers demand more. Use next week to ask questions and really learn.

What other tips have you heard or used to help alleviate stress on Black Friday?


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