Anne M. Obarski

Article Summary:

What five simple customer service points can you focus on every day to improve your business?

Customer Service: Five Points To Work On Every Day

My "retail snoops" business takes me all across the country, and everywhere I go I hear the same complaints, and find the same things that stores need to focus on. The complaints that customers have are easy to fix:

Always greet the customer warmly.
95% of shoppers are never greeted upon entering a store. Worse yet, most are rarely approached while they are in the store!

Display sincere interest in helping the customer.
72% of shoppers complain that associates would not make eye contact when speaking with a customer and appeared to be "bothered" when the customer asked a question of the associate.

Maintain a pleasant shopping atmosphere.
Shoppers can be the first to tell you if your racks are too tight or if your signing is clear and helpful. Dirty dressing rooms and untidy wrap desks can be some of the things that make the customer not want to come back to your store.

Motivate store employees to always be productive.
"The sales associates were talking behind the wrap desk."
"I didn't want to bother the sales girl because she was sitting behind the desk finishing her dinner."
"The sales people were very busy folding merchandise, so I didn't ask for help."
... These are common complaints I hear all of the time. Associates need to be productive buy they also need to be aware that the customer is not an interruption of their work.

Thank the customer for shopping in your store and ask them to return - even if they didn't buy!
Customers leave businesses everyday feeling like they were just taken care of by a robot. "Thanks, and have a nice day." Did the associate really mean that, or was it just a way to keep the line moving?

The last place that the customer usually remembers in a store is the checkout counter or wrap desk. If you want to increase repeat and referral business, make the last words you have with the customer ones that will make them happy they shopped in your store.

Investigate the possibilities of improving your business by focusing on these simple points, every day.

Anne M. Obarski is "The Eye on Performance!" As a professional speaker and trainer, Anne helps companies focus on the profit building service strategies that will keep their customers coming back. Anne presents nationwide keynotes, break-out sessions and customized training in the area of customer service. She has written "Surprising Secrets of Mystery Shoppers" and "Real World Customer Service Strategies That Work". For more information visit her website at www.merchandise concepts.com.

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