Core Ten Things

council on retail excellence



1. Excellent Customer Service

  • Hire employees with positive attitudes
  • Have employees greet every customer who comes into your store
  • Have a uniform for your staff
    • Clean, consistent appearance
    • Customers can recognize store employees immediately
  • Empower your employees to say “yes”
    • Provide guidelines in advance
    • Encourage creative thinking

  • Make the customer the priority
    • Return phone calls promptly
    • Return e-mails within twenty-four hours
  • Strive to know all your customers by name
  • Remember preferences – Carry products the customer wants
  • Recognize special occasions, i.e. birthdays, anniversaries

2. Have Good Business Management

  • Thoroughly train employees
    • Know features and benefits of all products and services
    • Use “Positive Approach Selling” techniques
    • Keep them updated on special programs and offers by suppliers so they can offer them to your customers
  • Have a “living” business plan
    • Provides focus and direction
    • Helps measure progress
    • Guides decision making 
  • Meet commitments
    • Keep consistent hours all year long
    • Run scheduled classes and trips
    • Have a fully stocked store – inventory management

3. Be a 21st Century Business – Go Digital!

  •  Website – This is the #2 way to attract new customers!
    • Complete training schedule
    • Complete product offering
    • Calendar of events
  • Make it easy to contact you
    • Address, phone number, etc.
    • E-mail address
  • Modern appearance
  • Keep it updated!
  • Have a modern Point-of-Sale system
    • Track sales, inventory levels and orders
    • Customer records
  • Track their training
  • Have their purchase history
  • Classrooms – Be digital
    • Have all classrooms computerized with LCD projectors
    • Have most current digital class products


4. Marketing – Communicate with Your Customers!

  • Newsletters and sales promotional flyers
    • E-mail and/or printed mail
  • Community involvement and public relations
    • Take care of the local environment
    • Charity Events
    • Let customers know when you participate in non-profit and charitable programs
  • In the store
  • On your website
  • Think outside the box; look for many solutions for getting your dive center in front of new customers (Movie house, coupon book, charities)
  • Always be open to ideas from your customers (suggestion box or e-mail)

5. Dive Center Appearance

  • Exterior Presentation
    • Clean
    • Proper signage
    • Well displayed windows
    • Well lighted
  • Interior Presentation
  • Merchandising
    • All displays need to be clean, bright, modern, and inviting
    • Change your displays 4 times a year – physically rearrange the store to keep it fresh
  • Advertise your website address everywhere!
  • Classroom
    • Clean
    • Comfortable seating
    • Well lighted
    • Bathrooms and changing areas
    • Modern and clean!
  • Training & rental equipment
    • Rent and train in the equipment you want to sell in your store
    • Keep in good condition and rotate equipment on a regular basis
    • Rental area to be kept clean and organized

6. Have Solid Educational Programs

  • Complete range of programs
    • Open water to instructor
    • Technical
    • Public Safety
    • Kids programs
    • Swimming
  • Make taking a course convenient by offering varying schedules
  • Teach your instructors to sell equipment
    • Have your instructors wear the equipment you want to sell


7. Have Active Social Outlets

  • Create and run an active dive club
  • Have sales and special events
  • Create activities to keep your customers busy with you year round (guest speakers, bowling, pool related events)

8. Have Access to a Clean, Well Maintained Pool


9. Be a Dive Travel Specialist

  • Be a local diving advocate
    • Keep an active local diving calendar
    • Offer a variety of local dive trips to give customers new and fresh opportunities
  • Offer “exotic” trips 2 to 3 times a year
  • Have you and your staff dive with your customers whenever possible
  • Offer pre and post trip socials


10. Network Within the Industry

  • With other dive stores & DEMA
    • Keep learning!
    • Share your secrets to success with others
  • Join an Industry or Retail Association
  • Referrals
  • Travel relationships


This outline was provided by Dan King, owner of Diver Dan’s, Inc. in Santa Clara, California and reproduced here with permission and with thanks.


©CORE 2008


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