Report on Retail Manager
To achieve the highest possible standards in all that we do. Our number one priority and commitment is therefore to offer, at all times, a world class service which enables our publishers and customers to increase their business and reach sales targets.
The store is designed in such a way that every product is placed a accordingly, since we sell motorbikes in our store so the moment you enter in our store you will see a variety of different branded motorcycles, than on the second floor of the shop we have motorbike accessories that includes helmets, jackets, gloves etc. On different spot you will notice LCD screens on which different motorbike events are showed or bike reviews are played to keep engage customers. Different posters are placed throughout the shop about different bikes, riders and other awards that local Australian riders have achieved. Throughout the store you’ll notice fast music being played in the background at a very low volume.
My leadership style is simple, straightforward and a very casual as well, I believe in working with the employees rather than working as their boss or head, in my store we all value each other and everyone is like a family in this store (Green D, 2006). Most of the young staff members who are new are very frank with me and they never hesitate in communicating with me. I believe in embracing responsibility, which can be considered as an attitude. My skills of dealing with people, communicating with others and my views towards them is what I think is important. I have to be precise and exact in my approach, neither be too deep nor be too short.
In my store we have 16 staff members, out of which 5 are part timers and rest all of them are permanent. Usually they all are aware of their responsibilities and since the nature of business is not something that we would expect more customers during summers or other occasions so we do not need casual sales staff. However our sales do increase during summers.
My management style as i mentioned is very much straight forward and casual, I personally don’t believe in having a distance between myself and staff as it affects their performance, so if they have any issues, or feedbacks they are more than welcome to come to me and discuss with me. If any staff member is not available on a particular day he/she simply inform me in advance (Green D, 2006). All staff members feel confident and comfortable with me and the way I manage things in store as a result of this I believe we as a team deliver a good job overall.
Communication, I believe in having an open communication between all the staff, by confronting things and saying things that you believe should be said and must be cleared out helps a lot in resolving issues (Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R.E., & McKee, A. (2002). So far in my 3 years tenure working in this store I never had a big issue with my staff, as I mentioned earlier that we all value and respect each other and we all are like a family. Still having an open communication between all of us is what we follow here.
As a manager, I know that good team communication is the key to cultivating an efficient, loyal, and hard-working team of self starters. And effective communication allows us to troubleshoot budding issues before they blossom into serious problems.
I have to make sure that all employees have easy access to email and any equipment they need in order to communicate with the rest of the team effectively (Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R.E., & McKee, A. (2002). Communication-enhancing equipment may include computers, cell phones, and portable media devices.
To improve team communication, I always respond promptly and courteously to all attempts at communication by my staff. When I am busy or not available, I let them know it’s not the best time to talk but that you’d like to hear what they have to say later. Most importantly once in a week we do hold staff meetings, where we discuss all matters and issues in a friendly yet professional manner.
As a manager I have to set objectives for the team that they have to achieve at the end of every week. There are probably few results that my team has to achieve; such results are delivering exceptional customer service, making the required sales, providing enough knowledge to customers that they are looking for.
In order to achieve such objectives you have to have a vision, it’s difficult to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are headed, not only for me but same goes for my team as well. The Vision is about picturing where the team needs to be in the future: Is it increasing production, improving performance, increased customer satisfaction targets yes or no, if you can answer it than it is very likely that you will be able to achieve your objectives.
We always welcome any queries, feedbacks that our customers might have to provide us with. WE do not follow up with our customers but yes we do answer their queries within 24 hours, we do organize a get together events for bike riders for which we send invitations to all our customers. For the feedbacks from staff, I encourage them to have their say, put forward any or all suggestions that they might have regarding service or any product or if they learned anything new. Every method of gathering employee feedback depends on what challenges you need to address as a business.
Team building is an ongoing process and your staffs learn from their seniors. So I believe that it is my responsibility to make them realize that all staff members has to learn and develop them. From time to time we do receive invitations from different companies to attend training sessions of their products, so I make sure that all my staff members attend those sessions if not all of them than whoever is available attend those sessions and then train other staffs who missed out on it.
I have an assistant manager who looks after the matters on which he is assigned for, besides all the other staff members are fully aware of their tasks for example the sales team know their roles that they have to perform, the guy who is responsible for merchandising he reports to the assistant manager. It’s very obvious that I personally cannot perform all the tasks myself and at the same time I am also aware of the fact that not all responsibilities can be delegated to other people so to face such situation I prioritise tasks accordingly.
The store has a big front wall of glass, no posters or shelf are placed on that wall except all the people walking through the store can easily have a look on the range of motorcycles we have in store. The more new model is being displayed at the front and then as you come in the store all other models are displayed. There is a walking space in the centre where as road bikes are placed on your right hand side and off road bikes are placed on your left hand side. Right in front there is a big wall with three shelves on it that holds old and classic accessories of bikes not for sale but only for display. And throughout the store there are posters placed on the walls.
Promotional activities: describe three promotional activities you are planning to undertake over the next 12 months. How do these fit in with the retail complex or shopping strip your store is part of?
Promotional activity has always been part of the company; our promotional activities are a bit different as compare to our competitors in the market. However for this year we have planned few promotional activities.
During summers time every year we organize an event in which we invite all our customers who have bought motorbikes from us. Such event can be considered as an PR event, through which our basic purpose is to engage with our customers and know them well.
Before the Christmas time we are planning to offer discounts to our customers on all the products that we have in store, such discounts will be huge, as we will be offering up to $800 discounts on some of our motorbikes and $40 $80 discount on other accessories.
In January we are planning to have a lucky draw, so all those customers who have spent over $6000 in our store will enter in the lucky draw and for the winner we will provide a return ticket to Malaysia for 2 people where they can attend the Moto Champion tournament.
Such kind of promotional activities definitely help in building strong and long lasting relationship with customers as it not only entice them but also satisfy them on many levels.
From the number of customers visiting our store, increase in the sales of our products and obviously from high turnover at the end of every year. Results for such promotional activities can only be realised at the end of every year, and on the basis of our results we than set a budget for our next year promotional activities.
Since we are retailers for various companies so we do charge a mark up on their products, our prices are usually a bit high as compare to our competitors mainly because of the after sales service we provide and guarantee we give on our products which others do not.
The overall store maintenance policy is designed in such a way that it will ensure that store continues to look appealing to all the visiting customers and potential customers so that they can receive the service that they require and even the staff feel comfortable. Such policies and terms usually cover how to handle special situations, as well as the normal day to day operations in the store. Such policies avoid making mistakes once faced with customers.
Store maintenance refers to the management of maintenance issues for the entire store and also for all the products that we have in the store. Routine maintenance checks are carried out on weekly basis and then the report is being forwarded to the concern department.
Rosters are usually provided in the beginning of every month through emails and then all the staff members are also notified through sms as well. They have to confirm with their shifts within a week, not many changes are required in the rosters as all the staff are full time and part time. However once roster is finalized than it’s been emailed to all the employees so that they can check it and schedule their personal stuff accordingly.
The above questionnaire will be provided to all the customers who make a purchase from our store, and for our existing customers such questionnaire will be emailed and will be encouraged to provide their feedback so that we can improve our service.
Through word of mouth, the industry we are in we cannot do a lot of advertising mainly because of the reason that we are retailers and it’s not a franchise, though we do a lot of promotions through social media and other PR events. We do insert our promotional flyers in different magazines and post them to our existing customers. But I personally believe that to increase the number of your customers you have to provide great service so than more and more people can visit our stores.
At bike sales we are committed in providing all our customers with a positive experience.
We aim to provide the best possible customer experience by putting the interests of our customers first. It is only through excellent customer experiences that visitors will come back and tell their friends.
We want to be known as a service that:
- Makes it easy for people to find their perfect motorbike accessories
- Responds to suggestions from customers to improve our services
- Provides fantastic customer service and sets an example in this way
- Is courteous and professional at all times with our customers
- Is consistent in our responses and the information we provide
- Listens to our customers and takes all issues seriously
- Apologises when appropriate and is not afraid to acknowledge when we have messed up
- Responds to every email we receive, and provides helpful and timely responses
- Goes the extra mile – always asking ‘what else can we do?’ and ‘how can we do more?”
Through our research we realized that we need to stock products of few more other companies that are in demand, as few customers who visited the store couldn’t find what they were after. As far as the customer service is concern, majority of the visiting customers were satisfied with the level of service provided to them. It is our continuous effort that has helped us in reaching this level.
Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R.E., & McKee, A. (2002) Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.