Customer Service Basics.
We have spoken a lot about customer service. From why we need to invest in training, to overlooked small gestures. However, when it comes to providing customer service. What are the basics?
Whether it’s a physical customer entering a store or a call from a customer. The greeting portion is extremely important. One of the many overlooked gestures when done correctly. However, customers will notice when they are not greeted.
Seemingly unfair, though the reason behind this can be easily understood. Many of us are so used to entering stores and being greeted within a specific time frame. There are customers that do not mind not being greeted. Though, customers do realise when they are not acknowledged.
So, it is important to greet customers that are entering the store. Even if with a simple “hello” or a smile. This will help the shopper’s shopping experience.
As a side note, when greeting customers. Staff always need to make eye contact and smile. A generic greeting by a staff that is not looking at you, or is not smiling, can be worst than actually not greeting a customer.
Also read this article: Retail Customer Service: Reality of Retail Industry
I can’t count the number of times a staff had handed me my change without even looking at me. Has this ever happen to you?
Honestly, when a staff is not paying attention to a customer. That is simply down right rude. Imagine the staff taking to another colleague regarding some personally matter, while handing money back to a customer. Taking loudly about personal matters are also not professional. Personal talk should be kept personal.
When attending to a customer, staff need to remember that these are people. Treat customers as they would any other person. With respect!
Look at the customer, actively listen to the customer and give active listening ques, such as a nod. Asking questions will also help.
The worst thing a staff can do is turn their back to the customer, without excusing themselves, then not returning to attend to the customer.
Building rapport will help staff interact with the customer on a more individualized basis. People being people. We liked it when we can connect or relate to another on some level or other.
When a staff is able to build rapport with a customer. Communication will flow more easily. Making the whole process more comfortable for all parties involve.
Imagine buying a car from a staff you don’t even know their name. Would you? I’m guessing the chances are slim. We want to know that we can trust the person we are making the purchase from. Of course, this is different on a retail level. A car is a major investment for anyone.
On a retail level, a customer is more likely to return to a store multiple times, when they feel familiar and comfortable with a staff. These are what we call regulars. Real our article on How to gain “regular” customers.
Closing a customer doesn’t necessarily lead to a sale. Though it will lead to sale opportunities. This also ties into building rapport and a good relationship with the customer.
If a customer decides to not make a purchase (for whatever their reason is) – try to give the customer a reason to return. Telling them that they can return to ask any questions should they have any. Discussing a follow up, taking their contact number etc.
This allows the sale opportunity extend beyond the customer’s initial visit. Which is why its very important for a staff to call the shopper regarding their decision to purchase a car – for example.
Overall, we as service providers need to pay attention to our customers. Especially when they are right in front of us. Although it is tricky sometimes. We need to know how to ask questions without asking anything too personal. We do not want to offend the customer in anyway. We also need to push for the sale without being pushy. Sounds trick. However, once a staff is able to master the basics, attending to customers would be more comfortable for both parties.
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