Author: Nick Drake-Knight
Age Group: 12-80
Quality of service is essential in the retail industry, if customers are to return time after time. This book
sets out the "Continue and Begin" method of training for quality, using anonymous shoppers to observe
staff in action. It explains how to motivate people and help them to improve, to achieve consistent high
quality service across all branches of a company.
Service sector businesses, including the retail, automotive, financial
services and hospitality industries, are increasingly investing in the ‘people skills’ of their customer-facing
staff. Business leaders
recognise that in highly competitive markets, with negligible product differentials, it is the calibre of their
people that makes the difference in consumer experience. In the UK alone, in a working population of 29
million, 2.8 million people now work in retail (British Retail Consortium 2007) with an estimated 5.5 million
engaged in some form of sales or customer service activity
across the country.
In the United States, the figures are much higher. Worldwide, the numbers rise to hundreds of millions of
The people-skills performance of customer-facing employees impacts directly on business profitability.
Service skills are a vital component in the customer journey, and yet employers consistently
report skills gaps and skills shortages. Customer satisfaction
surveys reinforce this message.
Service skills can be taught and employees can be coached to develop their abilities to even higher levels
of performance. The businesses that do major on service quality and invest appropriately
stand out as leaders in their sectors. Coaching, even more than training, is an essential tool in creating
This book explains how a specific type of coaching can be delivered as an everyday part of any
manager’s job function. Critically, in service sector environments, coaching has to be easy to use and
Coaching is massively powerful when combined with visual or telephone mystery shopping. Today,
almost all leading retailers
make use of mystery shopping as a means of measuring the quality of the customer service experience,
including the performances of customer-facing employees.
There are plenty of good coaching models in industry today, but none of them have been developed
specifically for a fast-paced retail environment, or to support a mystery shopping programme. This book
explains how to use ‘observed behaviour’,
or mystery shopping outputs, in a sensitive and productive coaching session that leaves the coachee
feeling more alive than when he or she started! By following this well-proven process, and using carefully
crafted language patterns drawn from Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and other therapeutic
new coaches learn how to revolutionise staff performance from a platform of positivity.