If repeat customers are the lifeblood of any successful small business, then great employees are the surest way to create them.

The people you keep on payroll will play a vital role in the continued success of your operation. Every owner should provide some kind of incentive that will bolster motivation in the workplace and keep your employees engaged. In order to ensure your business keeps running in the future, here are five things your staff needed to start doing yesterday:

1) Everyone should know “how the sausage is made”

Great employees should be able to speak knowledgeably about every aspect of your products. There’s nothing better than sitting down at a restaurant and asking about the menu and feeling like your waiter really knows what they’re talking about. Training is essential here, both in how to deal with customers and in the details of your wares. If you’re spending extra to get ‘only the finest cupcakes’, your staff should know about it. They are your mouthpiece and your main point of communication with potential customers.

2) Make Your Staff Become Brand Ambassadors

Every business needs to have a brand. A brand is a fusion of values and ethics you want to imbue in your staff and space. In order to strengthen your reputation among customers, make your staff become brand ambassadors.

Make sure they understand how you want your business to be seen. Ensure that they know your expectations as well. These men and women are going to be the ones interacting with your customers. Make sure that they embody the most important qualities that you want to be associated with your business.

woman making a purchase at a retail store

3) Build Strong Lines of Communication With Customers

There’s more to a business than the basic brick and mortar shop. Owners could create social media pages that frequently post special deals and discounts for customers. You might also distribute a helpful newsletter to customers that focuses on important business topics.

Try to use your staff to attract followers. You want to be able to communicate with potential buyers in every way. Have your employees collect email addresses or phone numbers so that you know how to reach out to certain people.

4) Engage With Customers As Much As Possible

Your employees should interact with customers as much as they can. If you own a clothing store, place some people at the front to greet everyone who walks in the door. This is going to create a welcoming environment for people who enter your shop.

Also, have your staff help shoppers whenever they can. Make sure your team can anticipate every customer need. You should regularly role play with your staff asking them to ‘sell’ you certain items. If you’d like to know more about how to train your staff to sell, you can check out our new ebook, The Art of Sales provided by ShopKeep VP of Sales and Marketing, Brian Zang.

Positive customer engagement should happen over the phone as well. Employees should be positive and patient when working with potential buyers over the phone.

These interactions will provide valuable insights into customer behavior. Based on how your employees handle requests, you can figure out how to best enhance the customer experience.

boy buying ice cream at an ice cream shop

5) Use Customer Relationships For Successful Upselling

If an employee follows all of these steps, it is going to pay off. These suggestions will foster a strong bond of trust between your staff and a customer.

Essentially, they will be able to identify the needs of certain individuals and increase sales.

Knowledge of certain preferences can help your staff leverage other types of products. For example, someone interested in a particular type of paint might also be interested in more expensive kinds of brushes.

These steps all have a purpose. If your employees follow them, you’ll quickly reduce inventory and garner more revenue.

Paul Nugent

Paul Nugent

Paul Nugent is a small business advocate who uses his background in the startup space, along with his POS system expertise, to allow small business owners to make informed decisions within their specific budgets.