1. The customer’s definition is the only definition that counts. Every retailer has an opinion of their customer service and it’s usually better than their customers. But when it comes to service, the customer’s definition is the only one that counts.
Don’t assume you know what your customers are thinking. If they’re not happy they probably won’t tell you, they’ll just quietly go someplace to buy what you sell. If you don’t know how your guests define great service then you’re going to have to ask.
One day a month, station yourself near the front door and conduct Exit Interviews. Introduce yourself and ask customers if they found everything they were looking for. Ask about their in-store experience and their interaction with your store associates. Ask if there are any classes or events they’d like to attend or product they wish you carried.
When a customer tells you something good, write it down! Use their positive quotes in ads, bag stuffers, in-store signing, and on your website. A customer testimonial is instant credibility because it’s 10 – 20 times more believable than what you have to say about yourself.
2. Ask KIZER & BENDER’s “BIG Question™”. Ask customers, “What ONE thing could we do to ___________________? You fill in the blank. You might ask, “What ONE thing could we do to improve our customer service?”; “What ONE service could we add that would make it more convenient for you to shop here?” or “What ONE product line would you like us to carry?” Because the customer has to put thought into their answer, you will hear constructive things that you will be able to implement. And don’t be surprised if several customers tell you a variation on the same theme – that’s a good thing! If it’s positive then you have one more thing to brag about, and if it’s negative, then you know just what to fix.
3. Be willing to do One More Thing. Before the customer leaves the store, before you hang up the telephone, before you hit send on that e-mail, do one more thing. Invite the customer to sign-up to receive your newsletter and e-mail blasts. Invite them to follow you on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook. Ask if they’d like to be part of your loyalty club. Send information about upcoming events. Just do or suggest something that will keep that customer closer to your store.
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