Customer Service in the Retail Industry: 15 Steps to Great Customer Service

And how to achieve them!

Achieving great customer service in the retail industry is easier than you think. All it takes is a little bit of effort and these 15 straightforward steps.

[Youtube Video by Olivia Harlee]

1. Start with a Smile

Smiling at a customer when they come in, puts them at ease and shows them that you’re ready to help them. Smiles warm people up and make great ice breakers.

2. Be Civil and Respectful

Not all customers are friendly. No matter what happens, it is vital that you remain civil and respectful in your responsive. A lot of the time even the angriest person will calm down if they are treated correctly.

3. Treat Customers with Empathy & Understanding

Putting yourself into a customer’s shoes is a great way of understanding their perspectives. Knowing what it is that they’re feeling, or simply getting a better understanding of why they feel that way, will help you make your sale and satisfy their needs and deliver a memorable experience of customer service in the retail industry.

4. Respond Promptly and Accurately

No one likes to be kept waiting for too long. When a customer or client asks for something, be sure to respond in a timely fashion. More importantly, make sure you are giving them the correct information. Misinformation will cost you more than just a sale; it has the potential to break your business’ reputation.

5. Be Reliable

Be honest, trustworthy and consistent. If you say you’re going to do something, do it.

6. Explain the Process

People are more comfortable when they know what they should expect. Explain what’s going to happen to them in a clear and concise way so that there are no surprises for them.

7. Make Information Accessible

People don’t want to operate in the dark. So while you’re explaining the process to them, make sure they know where to find any information about the service, process, and/or product at a later date – they may want to refer to it later.

8. Be the Expert

And we don’t mean just pretend you’re a know-it-all. Make sure you know what you’re selling: customers are more likely to buy from someone they believe really knows their subject. Do the research, educate yourself and your team so that you come armed with knowledge about your product and service.

9. Anticipate Customer Needs

Remember the empathy point? If you’re in tune with your customer’s emotions you’ll be able to understand their needs and provide for them before they bring it up. This will make your customer all the more comfortable with your knowledge, and your product/service as a result.

10. Look for Ways to Get to ‘Yes’

The art of great customer service is about carrying on the right conversation; reach a point where your customer is comfortable with saying ‘yes, I’ll take it’.

11. Ensure Every Encounter Goes Well

Make sure you’re consistent. Treat every customer the same way so that every customer leaves feeling satisfied with a great customer experience. There’s no point only focussing on one customer and neglecting the rest.

12. Follow-up

Don’t forget about the customer once they’re out of sight. ‘out of Sight, out of mind’ is not the way to achieving great customer service. Reach out to them, even if it’s just to check on how they’re doing with their product – remind them that they mean more to you than just a sale, you want them to be truly satisfied with their experience.

13. Own up to your Mistakes with Humility

No one likes someone who pretends they didn’t make a mistake when they have. Own your errors and do so with humility. Sulking about it or throwing a tantrum isn’t going to help anyone.

14. Make Relationships Matter

Great customer service is about building relationships with your customers. Think of them as work-based friendships, they need to be maintained and rewarded.

15. Strive for Great Customer Service at all level

Demand it from your employees, train your team members, work towards delivering a great customer service experience that no one is ever going to forget.