Dealing With the Challenges of Customer Service
It seems like the times when good customer service in retail meant little more than having pleasant front end personnel who would greet the customers with a smile, provide them with some information and wish them a nice day on their way out, is very far behind us. With the new technologies and modes of communication, and different shopping habits of the new generations of consumers, customer service has to do a bit more than simply leave a good impression on the customers. Today, customer service is still important to bring in new customers, but it’s even more important in keeping the existing customers from wandering off to the competition. That’s why the best approach to customer service would have to encompass both the old, time tested ways, as well as the new trends.
Sticking With The Basics
Never forget the basics. If your customer enjoys the shopping experience in your store, if there are positive emotions that are being tied to your store, the customer will be more likely to come back. It’s that simple – they’ll love to go to your store because that’s the place where they feel nice. And how do you make them feel nice? The smiles and the helpful staff are a part of making the emotional connection. It doesn’t really matter who is the first person a customer sees when they come into the store, as long as they’re smiling. Having customer service staff that patrols the store in order to answer questions and help customers make their choices is a great way to tell the customers just how much they are worth to you, not to mention the fact that this staff can boost sales by upselling or cross-selling. If your staff is genuinely happy to see customers and goes out of its way to help them, the customers will notice it, and they will appreciate it. And even when things go bad, and the customer is complaining, it’s important for the staff to listen with attention, and assure the customers that their concerns will be dealt with in the best way possible. People appreciate when their voice is being heard.
Keeping Up With The Trends
And while basics certainly can’t be overlooked, you really want to make that extra effort and give the customers, especially those belonging to the younger generations, exactly what they want – technology-enabled convenience. You have to be available to them at all times, even outside of working hours, which is easier to achieve than it seems. The least you can do is create a Facebook page that will provide information on items on sale, or other types of deals. That’s without mentioning that social media is a great place for customers to leave valuable feedback. From there, you can take it up a notch or two, maybe even go for multichannel retail, or allow your customers to shop cross-channel. It all depends on your budget and creativity, but however you look at it – you need to have at least some presence on the internet if you want to have young customers. Of course, it also pays off to be in touch with the latest payment options, and allow your customers to pay using some of the increasingly popular smartphone payment apps. A quick tip – if you want to appear very trendy, you can always trade in some of your point-of-sale hardware for a tablet and a card reader. You can also invest in good POS software, which won’t actually impress your customers per se, but will make your store more organized and your business more streamlined, all of which can be noticed by the customer.
So there you go – a pinch of the old and a bit of the new will go a long way when it comes to keeping your customers happy. And you have to do that, right, because the only way you, as a retailer, can be happy, is if your customers are happy as well. So try to implement some new technologies in the business, and remind your staff that nothing beats an honest smile.