If you're in the service industry or retail industry then you are aware of the words customer service. Whether or not those words mean anything to some businesses is questionable. But to your business, those words should mean everything...and we're not talking just customer service or good customer service, we're talking great customer service.
Good customer service is doing what you should be doing every day. Great customer service is taking it to the next level. The difference between the two is what separates the really successful stores from the not so successful stores. So how do you practice great customer service at your store?
The first step is culture. You have to provide a culture of service. It is a must to train your employees so they understand your culture of great customer service. The employees need to know, understand and believe in your product. Sixty percent of customers look to the advice of the employee to provide a recommendation on what they should order. If your staff is good and knows the products they can offer those suggestions, even up-sell them, and satisfy your customers.
Always be positive and stay positive throughout the customer's journey. For the most part, people will be happy when they enter your store. After all, they are about to eat some delicious treats while enjoying some precious family time. Make sure they stay happy when they walk through the door by providing that great customer service. The minute it starts to go negative is the minute the customer stops enjoying the experience. It's important to be positive and stay positive even if your customer is nothing but. Do not let it turn negative.
Turn problems into solutions. There may be times when you have problems with a customer or vendor. Don't look at it as a problem, look at it as an opportunity. If you can turn a problem situation into an opportunity or solution for the customer, you'll gain a customer for life. It shows you went the extra mile to not only identify a problem but to rectify it with a solution. Getting to a resolution point may not always be easy but it will allow you to turn the corner on that problem and provide a solution that the customer will truly appreciate.
Respond quickly to any issue or problem. Time is the number one priority when people have a problem or issue. It takes precedence over cost or labor. Response time to a problem or issue in your store is critical to the success of it. Everyone is busy today and the less time you can make them wait for anything, will be appreciated. On the other hand, if you make someone wait or don't make them a priority, they'll flat out refuse to do business with you next time.
Personalize the experience. Two-thirds of customers will leave a brand if they feel like a number and not an individual. This is serious, that means two out of three people that walk through your door could potentially go to your competitors next time, if they don't feel they received that personalized attention. Treating people as individuals grows long-term loyalty . Simple little things like getting to know their name, complimenting them, knowing what they like, saying please and thank you. All of these little gestures go a long way. Generally, just acknowledging that you're happy they're in your store is enough to make a genuine impression. Personalized attention makes them feel like they are part of the store, they're part of your brand.
Listen to your customers. Don't assume you know everything about your customers and you're providing them everything they desire. Be open to new ideas and suggestions from your customers. We have the ability to ask our customers questions, poll our customers, get feedback and learn from our customers. Any feedback from the customer should be considered as it could help you with the overall health of your operation. Also, learning from your customers may give you insights as to new products or trends that you could capitalize on by offering it to them.
Say what you mean, mean what you say. This may sound very simple, but it is very important. If you say something to the customer make sure you mean it, then do what you said. Do not give the customer the run-around and say one thing and do another. Also, don't overstate something that you can't do and then fail to deliver. Be forthright, and the customer will appreciate it.
Think long-term. Don't just live in the moment or the hour thinking about sales. Take the attitude that a customer is for life. When a customer walks through the door, it's not about making a sale, it's about creating a customer for life. This will help you build your business for years to come. giving you longevity.
Be Proactive. Being proactive and providing great customer service means doing something the customer doesn't expect. So do the unexpected. Whether giving them an extra topping or extra servings, it's not just about the money, it's about doing something the customer doesn't expect.
Encompassing all these things into your store can help you build the culture of providing great customer service. Now, go out and implement these tips and get a jump on your competition.