I am sure that you have suffered through an experience of poor customer service. One doesn’t have to look far these days to realize that many businesses put low value on treating customers well.
Vancouver is well known for its outstanding health food stores. If you’re coming to CHFA West, join us for a tour of five must-see stores on Thursday, February 21, 2019 from 9AM to 5PM. From traditional health food stores to larger super centres, we’ll take you on a tour that highlights their unique offerings and share successes that could easily translate to your location. Join host Bruce Cole of CNHR Magazine for a full day of exploring, learning and camaraderie. Departing from the Vancouver Convention Centre, West Building, the Retail Bus Tour is a great opportunity to network with fellow retailers as you begin your CHFA West experience. Registration fee includes lunch. $40 for members, $50 for non-members.
There is something you need to know about Janine Favreau: after 34 years as the owner and operator of Nutter’s Everyday Naturals in Prince Albert, SK, she is still as energized, focused, driven and dedicated to her business as she was when she opened the store in a blinding October blizzard all those years ago.
Benesse Health’s Pure Marine Collagen supports healthy joints, skin, hair and nails. The one-month supply jar contains 100% natural hydrolyzed marine collagen which is ethically and sustainably sourced from North Atlantic Ocean wild-caught cod. Benesse Health is proudly Canadian based in BC. www.benessehealth.com
St. Francis Herb Farm kicked-off its 30th anniversary with a reception on Friday, September 14 during CHFA East. Many friends, partners and retailers were in attendance as company president Paul Rivett-Carnac welcomed attendees, shared the St. Francis story and paid homage to his parents, founders Monique and Jeremy. Monique joined Paul and the St. Francis team in welcoming well-wishers and industry partners
The 18th annual Health & Wellness Fair, – hosted in September by Health Experts Canada and The Apple Market – continues to be a popular and fun natural health event.
Organika’s Enhanced Collagen has met its “matcha!”
Combines the benefits of collagen with organic matcha’s antioxidant profile, and providing alertness without the caffeine jitters. For more great recipes and other product uses, follow @organikahealth or visit our website at organika.com/blog
Certified organic beauty brand
INIKA Organic is an Australian-owned certified organic beauty brand. Our promise is premium quality, 100% natural products that meet the highest organic standards possible, and are Certified Vegan and Cruelty Free, always. With INIKA, there’s no need to compromise your skin’s health to get beautiful, flawless results from your makeup, every time. orionsam.com
Improves immune function
Our Deep Immune line is a best-selling cold and flu preventative. Available as a liquid tincture and a highly potent 5:1 powder extract in the convenience of a capsule. This powerful combination improves immune function and decreases the frequency and severity of colds, flu and infection. A versatile formula, it also acts as a tonic for fatigue and exhaustion and helps to mitigate immune depression.
Sweet, tangy, spicy!
Eden Spicy Berry Mix is a hearty, healthy snack. Seasoned pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, raisins and blueberries provide sweet, tangy and spicy flavours. For school, home, work or travel. Organic, GF, 1 oz. or 4 oz. edenfoods.com
Joy of the Mountains is a family business specializing in premium quality oil of oregano. An independent UBC study showed Joy of the Mountains was up to four times more effective against the H1N1 virus than other leading brands. Voted #1 Immune Product. 866/547-0268.
What is the Ester-C difference? It’s the only one that provides 24-hour immune support. Ester-C is clinically proven to be absorbed faster and remain in the white blood cells of the immune system longer. It is pH neutral, gentle on the stomach, and is the only form that contains active vitamin C metabolites. Plus, Sisu Ester-C is the most advertised, with the most merchandising support! For more information, visit sisu.com
New VitaDay multivitamin and mineral formulas are four unique supplements formulated to meet the specific needs of men, men 50+, women and women 50+. These distinctive formulas feature a whole food greens blend, coenzyme B vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants for superior immune, bone, heart and eye health. VitaDay Multivitamins are non-GMO, vegetarian, gluten-free and contain organic greens, vitamins and minerals. 888/826-9625.
Sisu Magnesium Relaxation Blend is a great-tasting drink mix that works quickly to relieve stress and tension, promoting a more relaxed state. It features magnesium bisglycinate/citrate with GABA and L-Theanine, to safely and effectively manage signs of stress, including anxiety and insomnia. Available in a delicious raspberry-lemonade flavour. Visit sisu.com
NOW Solutions’ new Charcoal Detox Facial Care system is perfect for most skin types and includes a gel cleanser, facial mask and moisturizer. Activated charcoal helps absorb excess oil, dirt, and impurities to refine the appearance of pores while acai and goji berry help to rejuvenate the skin and replenish its youthful glow. wwww.nowfoods.ca/beauty-health
Introducing clean collagen from Genuine Health! Each serving contains 10 grams of pure, hydrolyzed collagen from grass-fed, pasture-raised USDA cattle or sustainably sourced wild-caught fish from the North Atlantic. Both available in unflavoured and lightly flavoured water enhancers. Non-GMO, dairy and gluten-free. genuinehealth.comgenuinehealth.com
Every Woman's and Man's 55+ One Daily
Multivitamins delivers fermented nutrients targeted for adults 55 and over, along with a clinical dose of plant-based astaxanthin and immune boosting Beta-Glucans. See your New Chapter account manager for details, and place your preorder now for additional special offers. www.newchapter.ca
Yes, you can teach empathy, rapport and authenticity to your staff. Even those who join your staff with a high degree of these “soft skills” can still improve them through training.
Brittany Baird is my colleague at CDS Consulting Co-op whose area of expertise lies in linking financial success to the everyday decisions we make on the sales floor of a natural foods business.
CC: How do you go beyond standard customer service training?
BB: Every business wants to ensure good customer service. All your competitors are teaching customer service. But you likely have a mission that goes beyond selling products.
CC: Yes, a quick visit to mission statements on websites of stores featured on recent covers of CNHR reveals values such as wellness of community and planet, ecological consciousness, supporting local and organic family farms, and empowering people to lead healthy lives.
BB: Then your staff may be inviting customers to come to events, try new products or donate to a cause. Teaching them soft skills can promote all your goals. Also, the longest conversations take place in the supplements aisle. Customers there need guidance far more than in other departments. These skills are even more essential when supplements are your primary product.
CC: So how do you teach empathy, authenticity and rapport?
BB: The three skills needed are mirroring, reflecting and active listening. With mirroring, you consciously match someone’s tone and body language to create rapport. Say someone is new to town and comes into the store with enthusiasm, wanting to be engaged. If staff doesn’t mirror this customer, it’s poor customer service.
If a person is upset, you can draw them back down by reflecting rather than mirroring. For a disgruntled customer with confrontational body language and hand gestures, you can cool that energy down with, “Okay, let’s talk,” while keeping body language and gestures restrained.
Active listening involves making a conscious effort to hear not only the words but, more importantly, the complete message being communicated. When a customer says, “I drove from far away to get here. This is the second time you’ve been out of this product. I want to support you guys but you make it so hard,” good customer service would be, “Okay, we’ll fix it,” however, great customer service – using active listening – would hear the desire to support the store and the frustration, and find out what the customer needs to “make it right.”
CC: What are the most effective ways to train for these three skills?
BB: Role-plays with different scenarios are the best way, and they’re fun. Scenarios can be a bit silly to set a tone that’s not overly serious. Give the trainees the right amount of structure to these scenarios, with some room to play with. When I lead training workshops with my CDS CC colleague Rebecca Torpie, every single person in the room speaks in the role-plays and practices the skills, though not everyone performs for the whole group. A few may be uncomfortable at first but they get a lot out of the experience. We switch partners frequently so people can see how different partners process the assignments. We do “failed versions,” too – wrong way versus right way.
I understand it’s hard for small stores to do structured training, but you can still teach active listening, mirroring and reflecting. Owners usually model the best customer service. When they’re not there, they need a cornerstone person on staff who will model for the rest of the team members.
Soft skills training for staff can help propel customer service from good to great, differentiate your store from your competition and create loyal shoppers for life.
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