Customer service seems, in some places, to be going the way of the dinosaur. Sometimes you can walk into a store, look around for about 15 minutes, and leave without ever once being greeted or approached. It is important for your business to make sure that everyone who walks through the door understands how important they are to you, and how much you will go out of your way to help them.
The old adage “the customer is always right” is still valid and important to consider in this new world where people could just as easily buy online as they could in your store. If you offer them the best experience possible, they will continue coming back to your store and promote your company by word of mouth. Serving your customers well in the here-and-now moment will draw in more revenue and customers for you in the future; it’s a win-win situation. Here are a few ways to show the customer that you care about who their individual needs and issues:
Have a conversation with them
Although this sounds like second nature to anyone working in retail, it is incredibly important to actually be able to converse with your customers on a personal level.
Rather than talking about the individual products you are trying to sell, ask your customer how their day is going, or did they enjoy their weekend? Asking these personalized questions will enable you to learn more about your customer and subsequently provide them with a better solution, but will also let them know that you care about them.
Make sure you ask their permission before offering your opinion
Many customers enter retail stores over shopping online because they want to ask questions of the sales representatives. Often, they will acknowledge that they do not know much about a certain product while talking to you about it.
If you begin to offer your personal opinion on what product you think would fit them and why, make sure you ask permission before you do so. For example, you could say “Well, do you mind if I tell you what I think the most important differences between Television A and Television B will be for you?” If you ask this, it shows them that you care about how they are feeling, value their opinion, and also that you have been listening to what they have been saying.
Treat them as an equally intelligent individual
Everyone who works in retail knows that sometimes you can come across a customer that is really clueless about what they need or want. Even if they seem incredibly unintelligent, and the interaction with them frustrates you, it is important for you to remember that they came into the store asking for help because you are the expert on the topic. Although this does mean that you are in a place of power, you should not make that known to your customer.
Make sure that you treat their questions with respect. Even if you’ve heard “What does this button do?” a million times, you should still act like it is the first time you have ever heard it. Customers will appreciate your patience and understanding.
Make sure that your customer leaves knowing all of the information that they came in looking for, but also make sure that you educate them on other services or products your company offers that might be good or even better for them than the product they were looking at.
By educating your customer, you set up the expectation that your company cares about their customers and wants them to know about all of the different configurations that might be good for them. It also means that they are more likely to come back in and purchase more of your products as time lapses, because now they know that more of them exist. By educating your customers, you are also eliminating some of the clueless customers that were mentioned above.
Thank them, and invite them to return
After your customer has found the correct solution for their needs and has their product in hand and is walking out the door, thank them for interacting with you and let them know that you are there frequently if they ever need any help.
Inviting them back encourages them to return to the store, but also makes them feel as though they have a personal advocate in you. This is also very important even if they haven’t purchased anything. You should thank all of your customers for coming in as they leave. It seems like a small thing, but after you’ve walked out of an establishment without having anyone say anything to you, it can make a very big deal. It also personalizes interactions with your customers, and lets them know you are committed to customer service.
About the Author
This guest post was written by the team at Connect Your Home, an authorized retailer of home communication, security, and entertainment services; including home phone, satellite TV, Internet, cable, and many more. Connectyourhome.com is a one-stop shop for all home entertainment needs. You can compare cable companies and get a list of some of the top home phone service providers out there.