A sharper customer experience at Pauanesia


Pauanesia’s brand by-line is ‘the terrific antipodean store’ and, since it opened in 1995 in central Auckland, it has prospered by selling unique goods that tell a story about Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The store’s primary customers are passionate Kiwis who share Pauanesia’s aroha for this country. The reputation of this small Kiwi emporium with hosts, concierges and tourist operators has also made Pauanesia a mecca for visitors wanting mementoes and gifts that capture the wairua (spirit) of this country.

Owner/manager Heather Gerbic searches for part-time staff that have a passion for Aotearoa, will work well in the team and have good interpersonal skills. This does not necessarily make them successful sales people, but it does ensure they are interested, informed and good ambassadors for the store and this country. Every Pauanesia product has a story and the range is ever-changing to respond to customers’ needs and to celebrate different aspects of the New Zealand story.

Retail NZ responded to Heather’s request for a sales training workshop to improve staff customer engagement and ensure the best customer in-store experience. The two-hour “Successful Selling” workshop developed and led by Lorraine Rouse from Retail NZ involved analysing the sales process as a group and then some customer/retailer role-play with assessment and review by others in the sales team. The importance of greeting, listening, customer signals, the product story and the use of trial closes were some of the aspects included.

While Pauanesia already has a strong customer ‘fan club’ Healther has seen new staff grow in confidence and engage more successfully with customers. The experienced staff appreciated the workshop as a valuable refresher. They have asked for more extensive new product briefings to more fully consider the customer relevance of new products.

“This focused selling workshop will pay dividends for the staff, the enterprise and most importantly for the customer.”

Retail NZ is helping retailers stay at the top of their game by running a series of workshops around the country. The workshops cover a range of topics including retail strategy, merchandising, sales skills, using social media and people management in retail.

The workshops have been well received by retailers around the country, and can be tailored to suit specific staff training needs. The best news is that there’s a 50% discount for Retail NZ members, so they are worth exploring.

For more information: Call 0800 472 472 or check out www.retail.kiwi/workshops

Article originally appeared in the 2018 Oct / Nov edition of NZ Retail magazine.

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