Every retailer wants to earn a reputation for having impeccable customer service, but that isn’t an honor earned overnight. It takes time to hone in on what exactly what your customers want, and even more time to train your staff properly. However, when it comes to retail customer service, small things make a huge difference. In fact, making a few simple changes to the way your employees interact with customers makes a huge impact.
How engaged are your employees when they speak to a customer? Do they really care about the customer’s needs, or are they just going through the motions so they can move on with their day? Employee engagement is about more than simply answering your customer’s questions correctly. If your customers walk away feeling like your employees don’t actually care about them, it’s a huge fail.
Employees who are emotionally connected to their work strive to deliver the best customer service possible. These employees genuinely care about the company, their jobs and the customers, and it shows.
Focus on the Little Things
Think about a few companies that are known for having outstanding customer service. What do those companies do differently than companies with mediocre customer service? The answer is simple: the company focuses on the small details. Little things that you might not notice make a huge impact on your customer, and the key to great customer service is focusing on the little touches that make your customers feel special.
The details that you choose to focus on won’t be difficult tasks. For example, many upscale retailers such as Nordstrom don’t allow employees to point. This may seem like a strange rule to implement. However, if you ask a Nordstrom employee where something is located, more often than not, the salesperson will walk you to the item you’re searching for instead of pointing in its general direction. This ensures that you find what you need, and it adds a special touch that makes customers feel like their needs matter.
Cross-Train Your Employees
People have become accustomed to finding or getting what they need quickly. They don’t want to see multiple employees to have an issue resolved. They expect the employee that they see first to have all of the answers, so it’s imperative that you cross-train your employees in order to earn a reputation for having impeccable customer service.
Gone are the days when the sales department and customer service department were two separate entities. Your sales people need to know how to provide your customers with the service that they need, and your service people need to know how to sell a product. In addition, your employees should know how to provide good customer service over every communication channel that your store offers: in-person, email, chat and social media. Great customer service means adopting a one-and-done policy, so you need to turn your employees into super employees.
Ultimately, customer service is all about perception. The way that customers perceive their interaction with your company defines whether they feel like your company provides excellent customer service or leaves something to be desired. By focusing on the small details, cross-training employees and hiring people that genuinely care, it’s easier to provide customers with the quality of service they demand.
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