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How To Achieve Excellent Customer Service
Customers shopping experiences will make or break your business. If a customer leaves your store without a smile on their face you can take a sure bet that they are not likely to come by any time soon, and if your unlucky probably not any of their friends either.
Therefore aiming for anything less than excellence in this area of the business is something you cannot afford to do.
So how do you achieve excellent customer experience?
Approach, Ask, Listen
More than often a customer in your store will be simply browsing, not looking for anything in particular however it is always polite to approach them and ask them if they need any help. However the mistake that many staff members make is not giving customers the space or the time before they make this manoeuvre.
Your objective is not to launch yourself in under a millisecond as soon as your customer foot has crossed the door and then blast the question 'can I help you Sir or Madam' before they have had any time to survey their surroundings or even take breath for that matter.
Allow your customer some time to browse your store at their leisure, preferably without you eyeballing them the whole way round the store. It is more than likely that they will indicate that they would like your assistance before you have approached them, but if they haven't and you feel that it is the right time, do so with a smile on your face!
You should adapt a polite tone and simply ask them if they require and assistance, and if not simply leave them with a reassuring line such as 'if you later need any assistance please don't hesitate to ask'.
Listening to a customers request is the most important part of this whole procedure. Do not cut into their speech or assume that you know what they are looking for. Your customer will value your attention to their exact needs. Try to help them with their request as quickly as you can without looking as though you are racing around the store like a mad man.
If you don't know the answer to their question simply explain to them that you are not entirely sure and you wish to consult your superior.
Sometimes you may have multiple customers waiting for your service glaring at you with impatient eyes. If you are serving a current customer your full attention should be on them, however it is also common curtsey to show that you have recognised their presence and if needs be to verbally show this, 'I will be with you shortly Sir or Madam' is always a good line to use. If you working in a large store you could also refer your customer to another staff member who is less busy.
How Not To Do It
Dealing With Rude Customers
There are always one or two customers that will be rude and cause disruption within the store. Dealing with these customers is no easy feat, however there are a few tactics you can use to try to cool down the situation.
1- Be understanding and show empathy
2- Find the reason they are angry and then address it with a suitable action plan- if you don't know what to do consult your manager
3- Try to draw them away from the main store area to a more quiet area (Only if they are willing to move)
4-If they become violent or disruptive to other customers show your authority: 'Sir please do not… or I will have to ask you to leave'
Building A Professional Relationship With Customers
Customers love to feel appreciated and valued. You should work towards this by rewarding your regular customers with special privileges.
Here are a few suggestions:
-Welcome them into the store with their name
-Offer them discounts
-Open up a members shopping area with an exclusive collection
Going Above And Beyond Expectations
Customers love to be surprised by something they didn't expect. Depending upon your business you can achieve this by a number of different methods. Think like a customer and imagine what you would like to happen to you.
A few different examples might include:
-In a hotel giving your guests personalised cards upon arrival
-In a hotel responding to a customer service questionnaire with a thank you letter and a future discount
-In a store providing providing a free item alongside a purchase
There are thousands of examples but thinking and implementing them into your business will drastically improve your customer service, helping your business grow and become successful.