Customer Service feels like a seriously over done subject yet it is still one of the most important aspects of your retail business and what sets one store apart from its competitor.
Whether your store is a physical brick and mortar location or an online e-commerce store, there are some key strategies on what you need to be working on to stay ahead of the customer service game.
With retail being such a big industry these days and the combination of online stores and physical, the reality is that customers have a choice. They can choose where to shop and more importantly where not to shop. Your focus as a retailer is to offer your customers enough value that they return to your store and become a loyal customer.
By giving value, I don’t just mean monetary value. I mean the shopping experience, your selection of products, added services you offer and such things that add to your value offering.
Getting to know your customers is a process that starts even before they enter your store & purchase anything.
Successful retailers have taken the time to profile their customer demographics, their customer tastes , spending power and their habits. They have used that information to help with their inventory planning, their merchandising and the service offerings of their store.
This applies both to physical stores and e-commerce and it is a task that should be taken seriously if you want to flourish in today’s retail environment.
Great customer service in my opinion could be defined as being genuine.
It’s ok not to have all the answers, it’s ok to try to sell me something that is genuinely a fantastic product for me and it’s ok to be apologizing for something that has happened…if you, the sales assistant/store owner are being genuine about it.
Being ‘fake’ or saying something suits a customer when clearly it doesn’t, is not going to make the customer feel good and in turn won’t help to build trust.
Great customer service is the way you build relationships with your customers and nobody wants a fake relationship!
Stop talking for a moment. Stop working. Put down your phone. Switch off your laptop. And just listen. Your customers will tell you what they want.
They will tell you through their behavior, the enquiries they make, their purchases and more.
Instead of guessing what your customers want, ask them & listen. Look for patterns in their behavior and repeated requests that are being made. Being heard is a big thing when it comes to the customer experience and a lot of retailers don’t take time to really listen let alone take notes on what they hear and make a difference.
Are you really listening to your customers?
To summarize on the above 4 points, in the current competitive retail environment, it is no longer enough to simply greet customers, offer to help and ‘transact’ their sale. Customers now expect a more meaningful, genuine experience in which to spend their hard earned dollars. Keep your eye on your customer service game!