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Home » Apparel Training Courses » Customer Focused Apparel Merchandising (CFAM)

Customer Focused Merchandising (CFM)


Case Study – A merchandiser’s workday at XYZ Export House, exporting apparel to reputed brands and retailers in USA and Europe.

Samir came to the office early today to clear all the back log of work, which piled up last week, since he was focusing on sending out the proto samples, ignoring most of the other jobs.  In his mailbox are three emails from his buyers, asking him to send several costing options for all the styles for which he just finished sending costings two days ago.  Cost with pleats, without front pocket, remove zipper and replace by buttons, simplify embroidery to two flowers instead of five… so on and so forth… Huuumph!! Now all this work needs to be done again… why can’t these buyers ask what they want in one go?

As he browses more emails, he is elated to find the one approval email on colour submit for his sp 10 style’s fabric. He had been chasing for this for last one week to give a go ahead to the mill to start dyeing. He opens the email only to find a panic sounding mail from buyer, rejecting his submit for quality!! He is wondering, why they are rejecting the quality when it was already sealed and approved long back. I had sent this submit for colour approval. What a waste of time?

Then comes the phone call from buying office, asking to hold the pilot for his style which is due to go into production tomorrow, as the buyer wants to make some style changes. He objects and is in turn threatened with loss of future business if change request from buyer not accommodated. A heated argument follows between him and his buying office counterpart. He is going to take up this issue with his boss. The buyers are just so unreasonable!

One of his bulk fabrics is failing for CF to light, and the fabric supplier says this is the best that can be done on this colour and fabric. Buyer is refusing to accept even marginally.  Surely they must know that 2.5 rating is decent for this colorway and should be commercially acceptable. Buyers are buyers…and they won’t agree.

Millions of such transactions define the experience that the Customer gets from your end on what it feels like to do business with your company? Such moments of sheer frustration on both sides have a huge impact on the relationship that you are going to build with your customers.

It need not be like this at all. Samir has the power to ‘wow’ his buyers within himself

In this module Samir will learn –

  1. Why this fuss about customer service orientation? What’s in it for him as an individual?
  2. Who are the best in class when it comes to customer centric organizations? What are they doing differently?
  3. What his customers really want from him and his organization?
  4. How can he fulfil what customers want?
  5. How can he make a difference at an individual level to creating the ‘wow’ factor with his customers?
  6. How he can build better rapport and communicate better with his customers?
  7. How to write effective emails which get the results you want?
  8. How to build better relationships with his internal customers?
  9. How to deal with angry and upset and at times even abusive customers?
  10. How to prepare and conduct himself during buyer meetings and presentations?

The good, bad and ugly.

In this interactive session each participant will recount from their own personal experience, any extraordinary event, when they were the customers and some service or product provider made them feel very good or bad.

WIFM – what’s in it for me?

A discussion, on why this fuss about customer service? What’s in it for each of the participants at an individual level?

Customer Speak.

A practical simulation exercise, where participants will have to step into customer’s shoes to understand and find a feasible, practical solution to the various types of customer complaints that their organisation is dealing with.

Case Study – Are you ready for this?

A case study defining the expectations that the buyers / customers have / will have in future from apparel manufacturers, followed by a discussion on readiness of the participants to deal with such scenarios.

Customer Service Professionalism (CSP)

A Discourse on how at an individual level merchants can bring in customer service professionalism to every job that they do to improve the quality of customer experience they can offer to their buyers.

Communication, communication, communication.

An interactive session covering various aspects of communication skills – oral, verbal and written with a special focus on emails.  This session will have practical fun exercises to demonstrate the barriers to listening and communication and how participants can learn to overcome them to become effective communicators.  How to deal with angry, upset and abusive customers is an important part of this session.


A brief dialogue on how merchants can prepare themselves better for the buyer meetings / presentations.  How they should conduct themselves? How can they get better return on the time and effort spent for and during the meeting?