Retail Management the Art of Handling the Internal Customer

Topics: Retailing, Employment, Wage Pages: 11 (3527 words) Published: October 22, 2010
Retail Management- The Art Of Handling The Internal Customer

Professor K.J.George

Birla Institute of Management Technology Greater Noida


Country- India

Abstract-Retail as a business is prevalent since the ancient times, in its unorganized avatar it has mushroomed and succeeded in almost every town and city. It seemed an easy business when it became a part of the organized business houses menu, but soon to realize that it is an easy business but had to be done the difficult way. The paper explores the utility and importance of the Internal Customer that is the employees. A conceptual framework to study the importance of training, motivation and retention of the employees. To understand how to lessen the pressures experienced by the Retail Employees and develop a tool this is effective for development, validation and refinement of performance of the Retail employee. The study also explores the possibility to view the Retail Customer as a partial employee and to use them for furthering the profitability of the organization. With all companies buying and selling in the same environment what will differentiate the men among the boys will be how the “INTERNAL CUSTOMER” handles and uses the “EXTERNAL CUSTOMER”.

Keywords- retail, employees, train, gain, people, ERM, relationship

Retail is about detail…. It is the easiest business but has to be performed in the most difficult way. This could be a contradictory statement. Just to put things in the right perspective, Retail is easy because it involves buying, stocking and stacking of merchandise and selling to a customer who has the need for it, then why would it be difficult? The retail environment is fragmenting. Consumers want personalized shopping experiences. That means more stores, more channels, more choices and an increasingly segmented customer base. How to maintain market share and a competitive advantage? Retailers have to focus on customers because they are their most valuable resource, says business guru Martha Rogers. Among all of their resources like brand, employees, products, and customers, only customers bring in revenue, another reason why it is difficult just for the simple reason that no two customers would be similar or to say no two stores would be similar. It should be in tune with the WAL- MART way that every store is a chain in itself. When being in the service industry the relevant P’s like price, place, promotion, and product are important but the P which is the most important is PEOPLE. Here I mean both the External as well as Internal People. Because if the people working in the stores are not motivated and happy about their work culture than they will not be able to keep the customer happy

Strategically retail decision making involves excelling in geographic expansion, developing supply chain, building the brand, understanding category profitability and enhancing the value proposition to the customer. The whole action happens in the front end, how much importance or time we give to the PEOPLE or the front end staff present there. An induction which just primarily talks to him about his DONTS, cant come late, will have to work for 12-13 hours, no leaves, have to shave, dress properly etc. Are we really gearing up the person who will be the face of the organization to have a career and growth path out of what he or she is going to do? They normally do not have any bonding with the organization. They are basically and only working for the salary which will accrue to them in due course of time. But can we blame them?

The Internal People who are working in the front end are-

The eyes, face, ears of the organization
They face the customer
They are the ones who sell
They bring the satisfaction
They get the retention

But if we look closely what do they get in return
No Money
No Motivation
No Promotions
No effective training.

So where is the problem? Firstly The problem lies in the...
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