The business model for retailers and customer service professionals is constantly evolving. Customers' expectations keep increasing, and it is up to progressive companies to continually meet the ever-growing demands of the modern consumer. While price certainly plays an integral role in determining where potential customers shop, customer support is an equally important aspect of the retail industry that must never be undervalued.
How can today's retail employees keep up? First of all, it is important to pay attention to the competition. There are retailers out there that are renowned for great customer service practices, and taking a lesson from them is a simple and effective way to boost sales. Building brand loyalty does take time, but implementing even some simple changes in customer service practices can produce significant results.
L.L. Bean is an excellent example of a company that has earned a dedicated following of consumers. While most retailers offer a 30-day guarantee on products, L.L. Bean offers customers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, allowing them to return products at any time if they are unsatisfied in any way. Not only does this remove all concerns the customer may have about sizing, style, compatibility or any other unforeseen issue, but it also gives the customer a feeling of assurance that what they are buying is truly worth the price. It is essential that customers can buy with the utmost confidence every single time.
Good customer service needs to cater to all different kinds of shoppers. For instance, a business that has helpful customer service representatives available by telephone, but no way to correspond with online shoppers, is going to lose a significant amount of business. Modern stores need to offer in-person help through retail employees, live online customer service representatives and telephone operators. Customers need to feel like they have immediate access to help at any time. Again, this allows consumers to feel confident spending their money.
Another excellent way to reach out to customers is through social media. This is an aspect of customer service that many retailers overlook, yet it is one of the most important ways to stay connected. Social media accounts are free, and they make it possible to communicate with thousands — even millions — of people. Free advertising on one of the biggest media platforms is not something to take lightly.
Amazon is a prime example of a company that uses social media to its advantage. Getting people talking about products online is a free and effective way to promote both the product and the company. Social media also gives customers a way to make their voices heard, while making the retailer seem more human and relatable. Monitoring social media accounts makes it possible to reach out to customers to rectify a negative experience, or make a positive one public.
Becoming a customer service leader does take time, but developing and implementing new customer service strategies is essential in today's competitive world. Modern customers are spoiled by companies offering generous policies, but that does not mean these businesses are losing money. If you look at the current champions of customer service, they are extremely profitable. Modern consumers take good customer service very seriously, and retailers that feel the same way are bound to succeed.
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