I saw this at The Harvard Book Store. Each staff member made a recommendation including a little card with a reason why they suggested that particular book.
Two things impressed me about this.
First, they have a lot of staff with a wide variety of backgrounds. I knew just from looking at this display that I would most likely find someone that could help me. Trust is a huge factor when you are going after the Relational Customer.
Second, the staff knew their stuff. I only had a few minutes to spend in the store and I spent most of it reading their recommendations. They had excellent reasons for each book, which only added to the trust factor for me.
Staff recommendations are a simple way to prove your mettle to your customers. Just be sure to do it right. Here are four things to do when setting up a staff recommendations section in your store.
- Make sure everyone on the staff does it. Go big or go home.
- Make selections from a wide variety of departments. Give every customer a reason to stop and see.
- Give good reasons for each suggestion so that a customer will know instantly if that is the product for her. Explain who will benefit from the product and what those benefits will be.
- Make sure the items are in stock. Quick way to destroy trust is to get a customer sold on a product you don't have.
You have spent hours training your staff to be experts. Make sure your customers know how smart (and helpful) your staff can be. Staff Recommendations are one easy way to do that.
PS The only downside to this display was that it was tucked out of the way. I only found it because I was getting out of another customer's way. It was up front, right by the door, but tucked behind two big poster signs for new book releases. Make sure yours is easily visible.