Improve Your Customer Service Techniches & WOW Your Customer
Customer Service can be the difference between a sale, and a repeat customer. With today's consumer having so many options available to them, you need to create a point of difference. A reason for a customer to become a loyal, repeat purchaser.
With the invention of the Internet, the market place changed forever. No longer can a bricks and mortar store rely on location for their clientele, they now have to show their customer why they should purchase through them, instead of jumping on the Internet.
Also, those whom deal with their customers on a virtual platform also need to work to get those customers to pay the extra postage, to receive their goods. Not having many opportunities to interact with the customer, business owners need to make an impression with the few opportunities they get.
So considering that consumers can now purchase their desired products wherever they wish - a point of difference needs to be created. This is where a Great Customer Experiences can make a difference.
Setting Up the Customer Service Experience
- Say hello, acknowledge your customer when they enter the store or when you first see them. This can be as simple as a smile and a nod.
- If on the telephone, or you know the persons name - use it. Nothing is as sweet to someones ears as the sound of their own name.
- When talking to a customer keep a tiny smile on your lips, this will particular flow through to your tone of voice while on the telephone. It will also make you approachable when a customer is in a face to face situation with you.
- Let the customer know that you are there to help if and when they need it. You could say something like 'sing out if you need me, I'll be just over here' and gesture to the general location where you will be.
- Keep within your customers line of view, but not close enough they feel you are spying on them. Stay out of earshot is often a good rule of thumb. Do NOT refer to any comments made by a customer that you may overhear, while they are in personal debate. If it was a concern, they will bring it up.
- When standing away from customers doing your own work, keep a happy look on your face. A miserable looking staff member can be off putting and give a bad impression of the work place.
- Don't leave them alone too long, check in every now and then with the customer. You can ask something like 'How's it going?'
During the Customer Service Experience
- Talk to the customer in a similar manner that they talk to you. If they are relaxed, you be relaxed too. Always be polite and use good manners.
- NEVER SWEAR, even if they do.
- Go out of your way when asked a question to answer it. If you don't know the answer say that, then ask for a minute to go an find out the answer.
- When there is more than one adult, talk to both people when discussing things-particularly include a spouse, or someone that has been brought along with the customer for their opinion or support. Although, remember whom the actual person is that is going to pay, they should be one who receives the majority of your attention as they are the customer.
- Keep out of your customers personal space. They don't want to breathe your air. Keep your breath fresh and your personal presentation good. Around a small metre in distance is comfortable for all parties.
- Don't hang around when you've answered all enquiries or when the conversation gets awkward and falls into silence. Find something else to do that makes you look busy. Let them browse, talk or think in private.
- When giving information about the product, list approx. 3 of the positive attributes about the item. Don't go on forever, these will generally prompt any further questions they may have.
- Create a personal customer experience using language like 'What I'd like to do for you...'
- This is the time to create a bond or loyalty with your customer, they may reveal something personal to you totally off topic, be interested and remember the details for next time (if you can!). Showing a customer they are more like a 'friend' than a customer will make them repeat customers.
- If you create a connection with a customer, let them know which days you generally work and that you are there personally, to help them with any further information/purchases. Inform them how to get in contact with you if they have any problems.
- The current reality in today's business world is that sometimes, you can't help a customer as you may not have the item or be out of stock. If you don't have what the customer wants in stock, offer an alternative product that is similar, it's still an opportunity for a sale. Further to that, provide options and solutions to retain the customer e.g. Rain checks, call backs.
Closing the Sale and Customer Experience.
- When offering to follow up, give your first name and contact number/extension and make them aware that YOU will be the person whom will follow up and that they can rely on you to do that.
- As they start to turn away from a product or pack it away, offer your service. 'Was there anything else I can help with?' they may have further questions or want to look at something all together.
- When asked extra request or tasks, always assure your customer that is 'not a problem'. Do make them aware that they are receiving special treatment and that you have gone beyond what you would normally do for another customer. Make them feel special, but they have to know why too.
- Offer all and any discounts or sweeteners you can, especially if they don't know about it. A discount will give you a friend for life.
- If you can give the kids a small compliment with out sounding sucky, do it. Always go with things like 'nice dress there little lady' or what a 'cool toy you have little man'. Complimenting the customer themselves can sound creepy or like you're flirting with the customer. Parents love hearing about how 'good mannered' or 'well behaved' their child is, remember that is the most perfect person in their eyes!
- Don't be drawn into any self degradation talk by a customer, you can bag YOU out, but never them!
- Affirm that you respect and appreciate that they have shopped with you. Language like 'Just for you' or 'only because you asked'. Keep it light, but let them know they're are special.
- If they have made a substantial purchase through you, Thank them for shopping with you. It doesn't have to be a large purchase to get a thankyou, but in cases where people spend a fair amount of money, they like to be appreciated for doing it with you.
- Try to say 'see you next time' as apposed to goodbye. It doesn't close off the relationship.