New Zealand’s most recognised and prestigious retail business awards, the TOP SHOP Retail Excellence Awards, has a new category to celebrate the many rising star employees within our world-class retail businesses.
The ServiceIQ Retail Professional Award gives businesses across New Zealand the opportunity to nominate their stand-out staff for recognition at both the regional and national levels. Retail is a major employer and contributor to the economy. It’s also a cornerstone to success in other sectors, especially tourism. Both Kiwis and visitors have myriad interactions with our shops and the people who work in them, and each of those touch-points adds to the overall impression that’s left.
“Customers expect great instore, online, and after-sales experiences,” notes John Albertson, ServiceIQ board member and retail expert. “Service is the thing that customers are most likely to complain about, but it can also be the thing that makes someone’s day. Those positive moments should be celebrated, and that’s what this new award is all about.”
The ServiceIQ Retail Professional Award recognises rising retail stars – people who show sales and service skills that make them stand out from the crowd. It is open to people of any age who have been working in retail for four years or less and have, or are studying towards a National Certificate in Retail. Regional and national winners, and their employers, will be recognised.
John Albertson says that retail is a highly competitive sector, with many challenges, but that New Zealand does it as well as anywhere. “Staff training is an area where you can create a point of difference. There are only two people in a transaction: the retail professional and the customer, so you’ve got to get that relationship absolutely right.
“Well trained staff make the shopping experience. If you’re thinking of going into a store, the most important purchase is the one you make the second time or third time or the fourth time. It’s the repeat business that counts. So if you’ve got really good staff, then that’s going to encourage people to come back because the experience has been great.”
ServiceIQ CEO Dean Minchington agrees that retail success depends upon people. “Customers control your business. They choose where to spend money and choose what they tell other people about the experience, good or bad. Price is always important, but value is the experience, and that’s where customer service shines. A business owner who sees through their customers’ eyes will know that the key to winning service and sales is good people, properly trained.
“The 11 service sectors that ServiceIQ works with contribute around $27 billion to GDP. They also account for around 20% of employment, with almost 363,000 full time equivalent jobs, and retail is a large part of that. It’s important that retail staff are encouraged in their careers, and that’s why we’ve created the ServiceIQ Retail Professional Award as part of the 2014 TOP SHOP Retail Excellence Awards recognition programme.”
Anyone who has been working in retail for four years or less and has, or is studying towards, a National Certificate in Retail is eligible for nomination, and it is free to enter this category.
For more information, please contact ServiceIQ on 0800 863 693 or email intel@ServiceIQ.org.nz