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Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Great service is the retail equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of a hat
Working with customers day in and out isn’t easy. Consistently delivering great service requires the right attitude. The last customer out the door in the evening deserves the same care as the first one in the door in the morning. The customer who spends $1.00 deserves the same respect as the customer who spends $100.00.
Hire nice people, because nice is hard to teach. You may have talented, but surly people working in your store who are wonderfully creative. Let them be creative in the back room, away from customers. The associates on the sales floor need to do the following:
1. Follow the Golden Rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Acknowledge every customer with respect and dignity.
2. Be empathetic. Take a walk in your customers’ shoes and try to see yourself and your store through their eyes; it will make a big difference in how you react to a customer’s question or complaint.
3. Be responsive. Show a willingness to help customers promptly and to their complete satisfaction.
4. Keep your promises. If you promise to call a customer at a certain time, make sure that you follow through. How well you keep your word is a direct reflection of who you are.
5. Never tell a customer “We can’t do that” unless you follow with “Here’s what we can do…”
Just about every competitor sells the same product, just not in the same way. Customer service is the last great proving ground to differentiate your store from all of the rest. Great service is answering questions, solving problems, fixing what’s broken and finding what’s lost. It’s making people happy and calming those who are not. It’s the retail equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of a hat every single day – with a smile on your face.