Macy’s Looking to Up Customer Service Levels
in the right place is
at the heart of the successful
My Macy’s program. But product alone
won’t make it in a department store setting
and, hence, Macy’s newfound emphasis on
sales associate training.
According to a Wall Street Journal article,
nearly half of all complaints the chain receives are related to interactions
between consumers and sales associates. To rectify this shortcoming, Macy’s
has revamped its training as part of its "Magic
In the past, associates were required to watch a
90-minute video as part of their initial training with Macy’s. Today, new hires
attend a three-and-a-half-hour live training session.
All sales personnel receive
seasonal refresher courses and get on-the-floor coaching from managers. Associates
also receive weekly scorecards that help them set and achieve measurable goals.
by Bain & Company found that positive interactions with sales
associates leads to a 50 percent increase in the number of items purchased
"The odds of repeat visits also go up significantly," Aaron Cheris,
a partner at Bain’s retail practice, told the Journal.
A RetailWire poll
in January found that cast (employees) were listed by the largest number of
respondents (27 percent) as the most important element in the consumer experience
Training, as Macy’s has identified, is recognized as a necessity to help associates
achieve their potential. A poll earlier this month on RetailWire found
that nearly three times as many respondents rated retail industry training
programs as poor (32 percent) than good (11 percent). Fifty percent came down
solidly in the middle, handing out fair grades.
Discussion Questions: How much training do retail sales associates need? How big an effect does training have on sales associate performance?